Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS LANDMARK
Release Date: AUGUST 8, 2017
Price: $15.99 USD
Type of Book: ARC from Netgalley
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is the debut novel written by LEAH WEISS.
Set in the 1970s high in the Appalachian Mountain range sits a small, secluded community struggling to survive and to live their lives as they see fit.
The inhabitant’s lives are not very different from the lives of their ancestors. Down the mountain, people are embracing new technologies and just about everyone has a car, indoor plumbing and telephones are installed in every home. Not so on the mountain. Outhouses are still in use and the mountain folk have no desire for the intrusion that improvements might bring.
In fact, outsiders are treated with scorn and suspicion. Children are taught in a one-room schoolhouse that in theory sounds quaint and idyllic, but in reality is anything but.
Teachers arrive with the best of intentions, but soon run away with their tails tucked between their legs when they discover the harsh reality of mountain life. Their leaving could also have something to do with the fact that the last teacher’s home mysteriously caught fire in the middle of the night and burned to the ground.
With character names such as Marris, Gladys, Sadie and Otis Blue, the author creates a sense of living in the past. There are too many characters and too many intertwined storylines to mention them here, but Leah Weiss has crafted a complex but believable and haunting tale that will tug at your heartstrings and make you shake your head in both exasperation and disbelief.
IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE is as harsh and unapologetic as the immovable mountains. Leah Weiss has a gift for character building and the people who live on the mountain come alive on every page. Even the way the characters talk comes through as raw and authentic. For example, Sadie’s grandmother Gladys says, “From the start there’s been a film of dingy on my days. I’ve always done woman’s work; man’s work, too. Woke up with work to do, went to bed before it got done … I been chained to an iron life.”
My favourite line in the book was when Gladys says that her friend is as annoying and clingy as chickenshit on shoes.
I rate IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE as 5 out of 5 stars and predict that we will see this book at the top of the Bestseller lists as soon as it is released. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.
MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:
“Only got the clothes on her back and a backbone that won’t bend.”
“Ugly talk follows Roy like fleas on a mangy dog. He’s a spiteful, small-minded man who drinks hard and plays for keeps.”
“Truth always hurts and it’s extra hard to look at late in life.”
“She’s got lessons to learn, and life’s one bugger of a teacher.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
(In her own words – copied from her website)
Leah Weiss’s roots are deep, simple and southern.
They started where my mama Lucy was born on a tobacco farm in the flatlands of eastern North Carolina. She was one of fifteen siblings raised without electricity or indoor plumbing. My daddy, a Marine from Cherry Point, saw my mama a handful of times. Then he married her on her eighteenth birthday in 1944. They settled near her family where my sister and I were born in a farming town, where neighborhoods were divided by train tracks and held together by church and traditions.Just about everybody we knew was kin.
When I was ten, we left Carolina and moved to Virginia when my grandpop died. We moved in with Nana, and on the empty lot next door my parents built us a four-room home, sawing, hammering and painting. They were self-sufficient and hardworking people with humble dreams.
In my childhood days, I fell in love with Nancy Drew mystery books. Every spare moment was spent between the covers of those blue books solving crimes and thinking that could be me. If my name was Nancy. If I had a roadster. If I was five years older. I have nineteen of those early Nancy Drew books on my bookshelf. They hooked me on the pull of imagination.
But my world wasn’t Nancy Drew’s world. I took piano lessons that led to a scholarship that took me to Dunbarton College in Washington DC in the second half of the turbulent sixties. Our Nation’s Capital was in chaos over Vietnam, racial strife and women’s equality. Marches and sit-ins were the norm in that time of unrest. A year after college, I married, had a son, taught music, and wrote articles for a magazine. Two decades later, I divorced then took the job of executive assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School that lasted my next twenty-four years.
In those years, I wrote memoirs and fiction whose rules weren’t always clear. I attended writing conferences and workshops, haunted bookstores and studied my favorite authors. I cut my writing teeth on a novel that didn’t sell and a string of short stories that did. Eventually, I found.my writing voice. No surprise, it’s southern and musical and best when read aloud. It is always about people who are self-sufficient and hard working with humble dreams.
To learn more about this author visit the following links: