Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: Gap Creek: The Story of a Marriage

Gap Creek : The Story Of A Marriage by Robert Morgan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It took me a long time to get into this book. I had several 'false starts' where I picked up the book and made it through a couple of chapters, and then put it down in favor of other books. Once I finally read it all the way, I really didn't enjoy it that much. For one thing, and this is personal taste, it is far TOO descriptive. I'm not talking just about the graphic hog butchering scene, but about most every thing. I understand that descriptive writing is generally considered a good thing, but I would have preferred to move the story along rather than getting bogged down in minute details about the scenery, the weather, etc. But I'm sure many people will consider this a plus and if so, this is a book for YOU. In addition to the slowness of the story, I was slowed down by the dialogue, but that was a minor distraction. Once I got used to Julie's speech mannerisms, I hardly noticed.

Also, I agree with the commenters who pointed out that 'The Story of a Marriage' is a bit, or a lot, misleading. This is at best a prologue to a marriage. It covers a couple of months of courtship and the first year of the marriage. And for the most part, everything is so bleak. Julie, the main character, loses her brother in the first chaper, her father in the second chapter, and then she meets her husband and the book STARTS to get interesting. Unfortunately, it fades in and out of interesting from there. And there is plenty more tragedy and hardship to last throughout the book. Times were rough then, but Julie is a survivor. Another problem I had was figuring out exactly when 'then' was. It wasn't until the 'turn of the century' was mentioned that I figured it out, and that was so oblique it could be easy to miss. I also was left puzzled by the end of the book and Julie's stomache ache. The cause was never explained. Are we assuming she is pregnant again since she'd 'planned to tell' Hank earlier? I also was left hanging. They left Gap Creek and returned to the mountain to continue their marriage. To me, that is where the story really should have taken off, and insteads it comes to a sudden halt. What happened next? Not that I want to read a sequel. It was a struggle to finish this one.

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1 comment:

  1. I read this years ago, but can't even remember if I liked it or not. I understand about the 'too descriptive' stuff though. There are some books that do it really well and I love it, but sometimes it just bores me.