If The Creek Don't Rise
A strikingly sincere portrait of a town and its buried secrets from an outstanding new voice in southern fiction.In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She’s been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy’s wife.As stark and magnificent as Appalachia itself, If the Creek Don’t Rise is a bold and beautifully layered debut about a dusty, desperate town finding the inner strength it needs to outrun its demons. The folks of Baines Creek will take you deep into the mountains with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

If The Creek Don't Rise Details

TitleIf The Creek Don't Rise
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 22nd, 2017
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
ISBN-139781492647454
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction

If The Creek Don't Rise Review

  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...Wow. What an incredible read!As soon as I read the first page, the first line, I knew it was going to be quite an emotional story. "I struggle to my feet, straighten my back, lift my chin, then he hits me again. This time I fall down and stay down while he counts" Sadie Blue is picking foolish pride at first when she stands up with her chin high until her good for nothing husband, Ray hits her again. When she falls this time My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...Wow. What an incredible read!As soon as I read the first page, the first line, I knew it was going to be quite an emotional story. "I struggle to my feet, straighten my back, lift my chin, then he hits me again. This time I fall down and stay down while he counts" Sadie Blue is picking foolish pride at first when she stands up with her chin high until her good for nothing husband, Ray hits her again. When she falls this time she decides to stay down. Ray finally stops and leaves. Slamming the trailer as he walks into the woods.Her daddy's spirit comes to her telling her she needs to get away. "If I could follow the bastard and kill him for you, I would, sweet girl, but it don't work like that." She tells us her daddy treats her better in death than he did when he was alive...which is putting it mildly considering he once used a night with her in place of the five dollars he didn't have for a hand in poker. Thank God he won the hand, but she felt he would have paid up if he'd needed too (she was ten).And now I knew this wasn't just going to be an emotional read but a heartbreaking one. But also one that I was going to have a very hard time putting down.Her daddy wasn't the same after Momma. "He got nothing from loving mom cept me left behind" When Sadie tells us about the night her daddy ended up dead ....well it's heartbreaking too. Sadie Blue has had a hell of a start in life and so far the future isn't looking much better. She knows she was a fool to fall for Ray, with his sassy grin that made her heart flutter. Her Granny could see his evil... "You knock them fake stars outta your blind eyes, Sadie Blue, or you gonna lay with the devil and live in hell." Gladys Hicks is Sadie's grandmother. There's a good reason she's able to see evil in people like Ray Tupkin right away. Life hasn't been easy for Gladys. She's a hard woman, not prone to cuddles and warmth. She figures that Sadie didn't listen to her and now she's made her bed and needs to lay in it or find her own way out of it. But all that doesn't mean she don't worry. She doesn't like when her "ruminating" and "rememberings" take her places she don't wanna go ....or don't wanna leave.Marris Jones is a second cousin by marriage and lives down the road. She's full of sunshine and it irritates the heck out of Gladys.I LOVE Marris. She's full of love for everyone, including Gladys. She takes care of everyone, cooking and offering her support. And Marris knows things...things people don't realize she knows. Marris is really worried about Sadie Blue. She loves her like she's her own and hates seeing the life she's living with Roy. She wants to help Sadie but doesn't know how. Sadie loves Loretta Lynn. She likes Loretta's life story. How she grew up in a log cabin in a Kentucky holler and now she has a wonderful life. "Miss Loretta is rich, but she's my kinda people. She won't turn up her nose at a simple life like mine." Now, Sadie has been married to Ray Tupkin for fifteen days.....and it's already beating number three. But she's making a plan. "Roy Tupkin's gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn." Everyone wants to get a look at the new teacher that has come. The previous teachers haven't lasted and no one expects this one too either. The Preacher, Eli Perkins keeps trying to get a decent teacher for the kids and really hopes this one will stay. The teacher, Kate Shaw is described by some of the other folk as a tall, big woman with short hair who wears pants.Will Kate find her way and decide to stay? Or will the locals drive her out like they did to the other teachers. And what will happen to Sadie Blue?So many great characters. The author did a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life. I enjoyed their individual stories, though I wanted to know even more about some of them.As emotional and hard as it was to read at times, a lot of the writing was touching and heartwarming. The kindness and compassion that many characters showed each other. I became very invested in their lives...especially Sadie Blue. I wanted things to turn out well for her and couldn't read fast enough to find out how it would play out.***Warning: the abuse was hard to read about. Men cold as ice with liquor, anger, and jealousy running through their veins. Full of hate, but so weak that they would take it out on someone who couldn't or wouldn't fight back.Honest and gritty with a great plot. "If The Creek Don't Rise" is an excellent novel. The story and fantastic characters will stick with me for a very long time.Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5 Stars*If The Creek Don’t Rise is a unique novel whose structure feels light and breezy and veers drastically from the standard formula found in fiction. But despite its gentle execution, this story delivers some of the heaviest of punches and invites the reader to step outside of the book for a spell… I felt as though I was sitting in a quiet, dimly-lit kitchen, having tea and biscuits with an old southern friend who comforts and enlightens me with her bottomless wisdom. It’s a small town, *4.5 Stars*If The Creek Don’t Rise is a unique novel whose structure feels light and breezy and veers drastically from the standard formula found in fiction. But despite its gentle execution, this story delivers some of the heaviest of punches and invites the reader to step outside of the book for a spell… I felt as though I was sitting in a quiet, dimly-lit kitchen, having tea and biscuits with an old southern friend who comforts and enlightens me with her bottomless wisdom. It’s a small town, and everyone has a voice. Which is why this story is told through varying perspectives. Each chapter presents a new character’s point of view that basically continues where the last left off. It was as if I was just sweeping through their battered town, getting to know pieces of everyone and learning their most intimate secrets before heading quietly back home. They speak of their poverty, their pain, their violence. They show us all of it. We hear from the men who abuse and the wives too afraid to stand up to them; The children being granted a second rate education, and the new teacher in town determined to liberate them from their stubborn ways. And just when you begin to judge and label the lot of them as weak and dimwitted, the strong ones rise up and silence you with their astute understanding of life and perseverance that’ll put all your fancy book smarts to shame. They’ll show you that their actual life experience trumps your knowledge of their living conditions, and spark a fire of hope for their dot-on-the-map community. Although a bit more story from certain characters would have been nice, there is more than enough substance given here. And that brilliant ending - a sucker punch with a wink of southern hospitality, and how could I not love it! Book Stats: ▪  Genre/Category: Historical Fiction (1970’s)▪  Graphic scenes: Moderate descriptions of abuse▪  Characters: Well-fleshed out and honest▪  Plot: Surrounds a small, poverty-stricken town struggling to overcome▪ Writing: Wonderful. Gave the feeling of holding conversations with town’s people▪ POV: Varying perspectives - over a half dozen▪  Cliffhanger: None*Advanced copy kindly provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    This review is featured in my Mini Review segment:I absolutely LOVED this novel! I know it won't be for everyone, but being a female from the Deep South who adores character studies that manage to become the plot itself made this the perfect read for me! The unique form of dialogue and slow building tension worked well in my humble opinion; the broken dialect reflected the time period's lack of value for women and the dark struggle that many have endured at the hands of a violent drunk. The stor This review is featured in my Mini Review segment:I absolutely LOVED this novel! I know it won't be for everyone, but being a female from the Deep South who adores character studies that manage to become the plot itself made this the perfect read for me! The unique form of dialogue and slow building tension worked well in my humble opinion; the broken dialect reflected the time period's lack of value for women and the dark struggle that many have endured at the hands of a violent drunk. The story was very straight forward; there isn't much sense of mystery or suspense in the natural sense, but I found that the tension building between Roy and Sadie really catapulted the story forward and gripped me for the entirety of the narrative. Oh, and that ending? I thought it was brilliant. I must be the odd ball out, as I felt there was complete closure to the story and nothing was really left hanging. Highly recommended for those who enjoy deep characterization of rough folks in a historical fiction setting that feels as if it could have been written in today's time.Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!Sadie Blue. Pregnant, seventeen, still a newlywed, if maybe a little less optimistic about her hopes for her marriage since her husband Roy Tupkin knocked her around a bit. Her only weakness, if you can call it that, is her love of Loretta Lynn. She can’t read the magazine she carries around with her since she only knows how to read but a few words, but she knows all her lyrics from listening to her on the radio. Her daddy, Otis Blue, has passed on, but continues to give advi !! NOW AVAILABLE !!Sadie Blue. Pregnant, seventeen, still a newlywed, if maybe a little less optimistic about her hopes for her marriage since her husband Roy Tupkin knocked her around a bit. Her only weakness, if you can call it that, is her love of Loretta Lynn. She can’t read the magazine she carries around with her since she only knows how to read but a few words, but she knows all her lyrics from listening to her on the radio. Her daddy, Otis Blue, has passed on, but continues to give advice to Sadie on saving herself from Roy’s temper. Her mother, Carly, left Sadie’s father when she was just a baby, leaving town with a “fancy man full of flashy promises and little else.”In the here and now of 1970’s Baines Creek, the person Sadie counts on most of all is her grandmother, her mother’s momma, the first of their family still living to come to live in Baines Creek. Mary Harris Jones, named after Mother Jones who once upon a time visited their little town of coal mine families. Born in 1898, she’d lived in Rock Bottom, West Virginia with her parents and brothers, a coal mining family among other coal mining families. When Mary Harris Jones, called Marris as those two names slid into one, arrived in Baines Creek at ten years old, she saw colours for the first time, having never seen any in Rock Bottom where the sky and everything else was always coated in gray. The blue sky and white clouds seemed to be a glimpse of heaven. When I was born, my folks don’t live in Baines Creek in the highlands of North Carolina like now. Baines Creek don’t have coal to dig in its heart that breaks a man in two. When I come along, we live over Rock Bottom way in West Virginia, on the airish side of the mountain where coal dust sifted through slits around the windows, and spindly houses can’t be scrubbed clean. Where we lived looked the same inside as it did outside. Gray. Part of her family left behind. Coalmines are dangerous work. Their family is smaller now.Rock Bottom cut the heart outta folks and let em walk round thinking they was alive when they won’t.Sadie is still a bit of an innocent, hard to believe anyone could be in this place where moonshine is a primary source of income. Her heart is still open to people, despite everything life has tried to teach her, and when Miss Kate Shaw comes to Baines Creek to be the new teacher, they bond quickly. Sadie wants to help Kate, and Kate wants to help Sadie, help her learn to read and more. Others join in, an alliance, each intent on helping Sadie, but also the “others” within this group.Each section shares a perspective of time and place and people, and there are many different perspectives. Amazingly this flows effortlessly, and you see their views, how those connect with young Sadie’s life, all of their stories lead you right back into Sadie’s story, a group consciousness, if you will, which reads as though you were sitting in the room with them. Narrated in a stream-of-consciousness type flow, with a uniquely Appalachian colloquial essence, which really adds to the joy of reading this unforgettable story. The narration might require a very slight adjustment. Words such as won’t instead of weren’t, writing by the sound rather than the standard spelling. I loved this story, these wonderfully authentic characters, with a setting so purely raw, wild and gritty I could see it, the language so convincing I could hear the measured lilt of the drawl. The ending is the cherry on top of the best sundae you’ve ever wanted to have. After a carefully concocted blend of flavours, it ends with that bit of zing you weren’t quite expecting. This is Leah Weiss’ debut novel, which is hard to believe. I’m hoping she’ll return to these people in her next novel!Pub Date: 22 Aug 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by Sourcebooks Landmark
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  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    It's bold, powerful, dark and hard to believe that this is a debut novel. In alternating first person narratives from a cast of characters that will be hard to forget, Leah Weiss took me to the mountain community called Baines Creek in the Appalachian Mountains in NC. And I mean took me there! From the present day of the story in 1970 to flashbacks of the past and dreams, these various points of view give us a vivid picture of this place and the people who live there. From the beginning, the fir It's bold, powerful, dark and hard to believe that this is a debut novel. In alternating first person narratives from a cast of characters that will be hard to forget, Leah Weiss took me to the mountain community called Baines Creek in the Appalachian Mountains in NC. And I mean took me there! From the present day of the story in 1970 to flashbacks of the past and dreams, these various points of view give us a vivid picture of this place and the people who live there. From the beginning, the first narrative of Sadie Blue, which broke my heart from the first page, it feels like it will be her story. She's seventeen, pregnant and two weeks into her marriage to Roy Tupkin, after enduring brutal beatings, Sadie knows she has made a mistake. The grit and darkness don't just belong to Sadie, though. Her grandmother Gladys tells us of her awful past ridden with the drunkenness and senseless abuse. There's much more to the story with characters you will love and those you will hate. Eli Perkins, the preacher whose daddy took him to "see the devil" when he was nine years old is a good man wanting to help the community by bringing in a teacher who might stay. Kate Shaw is the woman who comes to teach because she wants to help as well as get a fresh start. There's Birdie Rocas , wise with a touch of eerieness about her who you can't help but love. There are secrets of revenge, secrets of identity, hidden stills and hidden feelings of the women who outwardly keep in their expected place as victims of marital abuse. I loved the dialect, the descriptions in phrases I would never have known but yet so perfectly describe an image or a feeling - "a pinch of sad" , "a slice of selfish that won't pretty". And omg - the ending - I wasn't expecting that . 5 stars and recommended especially to those who love Southern Literature.I received an advanced copy of this book from SOURCEBOOKS Landmark through NetGalley.
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    5 Stars.If The Creek Don’t Rise is a stunning and extremely poignant character study of life in a North Carolina mountain town. Most of these characters have heart and they make you care right off the bat. For the life is hard fought in Baines Creek. No one has it easy. And evil lurks in this small Appalachian town, causing its residents to ban together to take care of their own.Sadie Blue is seventeen, a newlywed and pregnant. She has been married for fifteen days. To a man named Ray Tupkin. Wh 5 Stars.If The Creek Don’t Rise is a stunning and extremely poignant character study of life in a North Carolina mountain town. Most of these characters have heart and they make you care right off the bat. For the life is hard fought in Baines Creek. No one has it easy. And evil lurks in this small Appalachian town, causing its residents to ban together to take care of their own.Sadie Blue is seventeen, a newlywed and pregnant. She has been married for fifteen days. To a man named Ray Tupkin. When she met him, he seemed sexy, mysterious and fun. Once she married him, Sadie realizes he was none of those things. He was abusive, mean and he has no love for Sadie whatsoever. Within the first few weeks he beat her within inches of her life and Sadie realizes the depth of her mistake. Now she just has to figure out how to fix it. Sadie might not have much, but she has friends. Lots of them. Including Marris Jones, a woman who takes care of everybody. Marris cooks for half the town, bringing food and comfort to those in need. Her best friend is Sadie’s Granny, Gladys whose life has also been plagued with difficulties. She is a widower. Roy, Sadie’s husband, reminds Gladys of Walter, her deceased husband, who Gladys is glad to be rid of. Baines Creek is a town where hearing about town gossip is the often the most exciting thing to happen. That is, until Kate Shaw, the new teacher arrives. Kate never thought she’d like living alone or be able to endure the isolation of living there. She was wrong. There are however, lots of people who dislike Ms. Shaw, including Prudence Perkins, a mean spiteful woman who hates life. But there are lots of people who like her and keep an eye out for her, including Preacher Eli Perkins (Prudence’s brother), Birdie Rocas, an ancient medicine woman, Jerome Biddle, a harmless man who does odd jobs around town and Ms. Sadie Blue. Shortly after her arrival, Kate immediately becomes enmeshed in her students’ wellbeing’s and in the town-folks’ lives, especially Ms. Sadie’s. If The Creek Don’t Rise is a character-driven novel, with a cast of individuals that leap of the page. These characters are real, their pain, their suffering, their loss. You feel it. Each chapter is narrated by a different person, yet the author, Leah Weiss, expertly navigates each chapter and is able to distinguish between each character extremely well. This novel contained several standout characters and strong females: Kate Shaw, a woman who, at first is out of her element; Marris Jones, a kind amazing woman who takes care of everybody; Birdie Rocas, an extremely smart and spiritual woman; and last but certainly not least, Ms. Sadie Blue, who faces the ultimate danger, and finds strength in her friends, never giving up hope. This is a quick, fast-paced, easy read and is a book I can’t recommend highly enough. If The Creek Don’t Rise is a book with heart my friends. That’s all I can say. And the ending? Loved it. Congratulations to Leah Weiss on a fabulous debut. Thank you to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Landmark, and Leah Weiss for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 3/15/17.*Will be published on Amazon on 8/8/17.
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars! Oh, how I loved this story - I simply didn’t want it to end!WOW - these characters……what can I say?? I LOVED them! I ADORED them! I wanted to jump into the book and hug them (well – not all of them, but most of them)! I had been looking forward to reading this novel for quite a while and it definitely delivered and lived up to all the hype! It's going straight to my Favourites shelf!My one critique is that I wanted MORE! I felt I only touched the surface of getting to know these amazi 4.5 stars! Oh, how I loved this story - I simply didn’t want it to end!WOW - these characters……what can I say?? I LOVED them! I ADORED them! I wanted to jump into the book and hug them (well – not all of them, but most of them)! I had been looking forward to reading this novel for quite a while and it definitely delivered and lived up to all the hype! It's going straight to my Favourites shelf!My one critique is that I wanted MORE! I felt I only touched the surface of getting to know these amazingly unforgettable characters. What happens next?.....I keep thinking to myself. I feel like there is so much more story left to be told. The writing was superb! The character depictions and language seemed absolutely perfect! This is southern fiction done right!A unique, compelling and heart-wrenching story. I will be thinking of these characters long after I write this review. I highly recommend this captivating book! I look forward to reading more from this author, Leah Weiss, in the future. What an outstanding debut novel!
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  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    January 1, 1970
    Back when I was in the fourth grade we had an English teacher who dumped a box of books out one day and told us to read them and do book reports. I ate that up with a spoon and did my best to read them all. The thing is...I read one that I have never stopped thinking about. It was set in the Ozark mountains featuring what some people called a witch. It completely nailed the "mountain living" that I remembered my grandmother talking about. It was a big old chunk of a book, so only a couple of the Back when I was in the fourth grade we had an English teacher who dumped a box of books out one day and told us to read them and do book reports. I ate that up with a spoon and did my best to read them all. The thing is...I read one that I have never stopped thinking about. It was set in the Ozark mountains featuring what some people called a witch. It completely nailed the "mountain living" that I remembered my grandmother talking about. It was a big old chunk of a book, so only a couple of the kids including myself read it. I've never forgotten it and it's drove me nuts because I would love a copy of it. This book reminds me of that. And that is the highest praise from me.It's going to be hard to top this book as my book of the year, if it even happens.Authors have been trying to write the whole "hick-lit" thing in the last few years. I admit that it's my favorite genre that I think I've ever read. But this. This is freaking perfection. The story centers around a very young, pregnant girl named Sadie Blue. Her grandmother raises her after her mother takes off right after her birth and her daddy ends up drinking himself to death. (Her daddy is far from perfect) So I think Sadie latches on to the first thing she thinks is good in life. And that was in the form of Roy. Roy beats the heck out of Sadie starting from what seems like the minute she marries him. But this is Appalachia in the 1970's. A husband does what he wants to with his wife and the small mountain town turns it's head. There are women in these hills whose men beat them because they misconstrue Ephesians 5:22-23 as saying they can. They twist God's holy words: "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife.".You would think this sounds like a typical hick lit story. You are so very, very wrong. Told from multiple viewpoints this story will stay with me forever. You have the preacher and his sanctimonious sister, the new teacher that has come to the mountains to start anew, Sadie herself, the local witch woman Birdie and even the hateful Roy and his sidekick since birth Billy. This book is Appalachia as I knew it as a child. Don't read it and look down at anybody that lives or lived in this area. As a matter of fact, if that's your mindset just don't even bother picking this book up.Outsiders see Appalachian poverty as something to be cut out. The good with the bad. They send volunteers to save you from yourselves...."Do you know the saying, 'Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater?'The teacher in her don't give me the time to say so, when she adds, 'Well, you write about the baby while everyone else is writing about the bathwater.'Exactly.This book was the exact measure of perfection in my eyes. I'm thankful that I was able to read it. Appalachia may have changed a bit since the story was set, but this book is it's heart.Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.PS I used my favorite photographer of all times images in this review. Sally Mann's photos also do what this book does. (Portrays Appalachia in a light that might make you a bit uncomfortable but you will never forget it.)
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Omg! This book! Full review at a later date. Mel 🖤🐾🐺
  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    OMG!.....Love the characters, and.....HeHeHe......what an ending! "If the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise." Baines Creek is a small remote mountain settlement in North Carolina where many can't read, education is unheard of and catastrophic poverty is the norm. The dialect is obscure and living conditions primitive with a feel more like the 1870's than the 1970's.....so backward.....so uncivilized.....the men so brutal and lawless, and for Sadie Blue, life seems grave.Leah Weiss int OMG!.....Love the characters, and.....HeHeHe......what an ending! "If the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise." Baines Creek is a small remote mountain settlement in North Carolina where many can't read, education is unheard of and catastrophic poverty is the norm. The dialect is obscure and living conditions primitive with a feel more like the 1870's than the 1970's.....so backward.....so uncivilized.....the men so brutal and lawless, and for Sadie Blue, life seems grave.Leah Weiss introduces her extraordinary characters as chapters unfold and each one has their own peculiarity. If you've read the book summary, you already know Sadie Blue lives with a devil of a man, but she's not the only one who has lived with a wife beater of a husband. Just wait till you see what Granny Gladys does.....with a bit of help from Mother Nature.....hehehe.And Lord have mercy, wait till you meet Birdie with her gamy birds-nest hairdo and top notch fine feathered companion Samuel....and all his buddies.And last, but not least, I must mention Preacher Eli Perkins who confesses ...."I was nine years old when I met the devil face to face.".... Eli is the backbone of the community; all he wants is a better life for the people of Baines Creek evidenced by the succession of teachers he has procured....and been scared off, and his scheming troublemaking spinster of a sister Prudence who "don't like nobody" doesn't help matters any, but when the giant 6' 2" Kate Shaw arrives, well...that's another story.IF THE CREEK DON'T RISE is character driven and one fine gritty and entertaining debut with one fine satisfying ending! Many thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for the ARC in return for an unbiased review.
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  • Arah-Lynda
    January 1, 1970
    Sadie Blue I struggle to my feet, straighten my back, lift my chin, then he hits me again.  This time I fall down and stay down while he counts, “........eight, nine, ten.” He walks out the trailer door and slams it hard.  The latch don’t catch, and the door pops open. I lay on the floor and watch Roy Tupkin cross the dirt yard.  My world’s gone sideways again.And just like that Weiss drops you into the heart of this story.  You have just met Sadie Blue and you know she is in a heap of hurt.  Y Sadie Blue I struggle to my feet, straighten my back, lift my chin, then he hits me again.  This time I fall down and stay down while he counts, “........eight, nine, ten.” He walks out the trailer door and slams it hard.  The latch don’t catch, and the door pops open. I lay on the floor and watch Roy Tupkin cross the dirt yard.  My world’s gone sideways again.And just like that Weiss drops you into the heart of this story.  You have just met Sadie Blue and you know she is in a heap of hurt.  You have also met Roy. What you don’t know is that Sadie is only seventeen and pregnant.  Today was beating number three since she got married, today she wishes she had listened to Granny.Granny gave me a good talking to outside my closed door, but that don’t change things cause I was young and dumb.  I was pulled by the raw scent of that man, not knowing the stink below the skim of sweet.Saide’s story takes place in 1970, in Baines Creek,  North Carolina.  She needs a way out and while she searches within herself to find one, we meet her granny and others, like the new teacher they are expecting from the valley.  Each new voice we hear has a place in this story and  each one is distinct.  Weiss wastes no time immersing the reader quickly into each new perspective, using taut, sparse language.  Still the time an place is ever there.  This is Appalachia,  in all its stark and gritty magnificence.My advice, come to this novel, unsullied, avoid any and all spoilers, unclutter your mind and prepare to enter Sadie’s world for a spell.  Get comfy, I think you might just stay for a while. If The Creek Don’t Rise is both;  breathtaking and brilliant.  I want to light up the goodreads sky with as many stars as I can possibly beckon.  Please help me.. Noise is going to be made here, best get in early..I wouldn’t be surprised to find this one topping my list of 2017 favourites.  Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Inc., Leah Weiss and NetGalley for an opportunity to read an advance copy.  
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    This was a Traveling Sister Read with Brenda, Sarah, Jennifer and Porshajo. It was so enjoyable and fun reading and discussing the book with them. This book takes place in the mountains in a small town called Baines Creek, N.C. It is 1970. I really loved reading about the Appalachian culture, and learned a lot. The grammar in the beginning was really bad, but then it got a lot better, then it got bad again, so I then noticed that it was the dialogue of the character's that were uneducated, who h This was a Traveling Sister Read with Brenda, Sarah, Jennifer and Porshajo. It was so enjoyable and fun reading and discussing the book with them. This book takes place in the mountains in a small town called Baines Creek, N.C. It is 1970. I really loved reading about the Appalachian culture, and learned a lot. The grammar in the beginning was really bad, but then it got a lot better, then it got bad again, so I then noticed that it was the dialogue of the character's that were uneducated, who had the bad grammar, and the characters that were educated had the good grammar. The main character is Sadie Blue, who is only seventeen years old and is married to Roy Tupkin and she is with him for 15 days. He is a drunk, a wife beater and is so mean. He is such a bad guy but she was warned about him. Sadie is just lovable and my heart really felt for her. I usually stay away from a book that has domestic violence in it, but this one really wasn't bad at all. It wasn't graphic, and didn't go into detail about it. It was very well done. Before I read the book I messaged a GR friend to see if the abuse was really bad and she told me that it wasn't bad at all and that it was more of a character driven novel and urged me to read it. That is why I love Good Reads so much because I probably would of never of picked this book up if it wasn't for her urging me to read it. If I didn't pick this up I would of really missed out on a lot.This is a character driven novel and the author does so well with the development of the characters. They come to life. There were so many characters but they never confused me because each character's name was on the chapter, so you knew which character was telling their story. There were characters that I loved and characters that I disliked. I just loved Marris. She was always helping the needy. She had a huge heart and was always so nice. I also loved Eli Perkins who was a preacher and he really gave the town hope. The town has a lot of poverty. I loved Kate Shaw too. She was the new school teacher and she would not let anything get in her way. She made sure they got their education. I also loved Birdie. She was such a quirky character and kept herself in the company with crows. She would also give out a lot of herbal remedies. I am not going to get into all the characters, just wanted to go over the ones that I really loved. I have to have some suspense in a book when I read it, and this one had some suspense. The suspenseful parts would build up and by the time it got close to the end, the suspense hooked me in and I couldn't put it down. I also loved the twist at the end. I don't read very many historical novels, but since I loved this one, I will be reading a new genre. I am so excited that I have a new genre to read.I highly recommend this book.I want to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jaline
    January 1, 1970
    I am feeling culture shock from reading this book. Yes, I had heard of the Appalachians and how the culture spreads along those mountains over more than a dozen States. And yes, I have heard the music of this culture and watched the dancing. I have even heard the accents and many of the stories from various artists who escaped the confines of this culture and were successful in attaining fame and fortune for themselves.Still, through all I heard, read about, or ‘saw’ through pictures, movies, or I am feeling culture shock from reading this book. Yes, I had heard of the Appalachians and how the culture spreads along those mountains over more than a dozen States. And yes, I have heard the music of this culture and watched the dancing. I have even heard the accents and many of the stories from various artists who escaped the confines of this culture and were successful in attaining fame and fortune for themselves.Still, through all I heard, read about, or ‘saw’ through pictures, movies, or T.V., there was always a mythical, brothers Grimm flavour that distanced me from its reality. It was “Other” and so far removed from my own reality it simply didn’t exist for me.This book changed that. Told through the voices of the major characters in the book, chapter by chapter they got in my face and told me the realities of their lives. They told me of their hurts, pains, and scars; they told me of their families, bruised and broken relationships, and despair. They whispered their small hopes and murmured softly of mentors they looked up to, all the while so far removed from the word ‘possibility’ they didn’t even know why.The impact of this book is soul-searing and filled with contrasts – of nature, of the heart, of the mind, of the emotions; indeed, of all that is daily life in this community. There are deep and beautiful and terrifying and ferocious lessons in this story and I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! This was an extremely enjoyable read! I absolutely loved the southern voice of these characters throughout this book. It is a breathtaking and gritty portrayal of hillbilly life from the year 1970 which is set in the Appalachian Mountains.“Regular folks buckle under the piss and vinegar in this world.”IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE by LEAH WEISS is an interesting, compelling, and beautifully written novel that has a really engaging storyline and characters that grabbed my attention from the very f Wow! This was an extremely enjoyable read! I absolutely loved the southern voice of these characters throughout this book. It is a breathtaking and gritty portrayal of hillbilly life from the year 1970 which is set in the Appalachian Mountains.“Regular folks buckle under the piss and vinegar in this world.”IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE by LEAH WEISS is an interesting, compelling, and beautifully written novel that has a really engaging storyline and characters that grabbed my attention from the very first chapter. Being a Loretta Lynn and country music fan I absolutely loved Sadie Blue’s respect and adoration that she had for Loretta Lynn. The references to Loretta Lynn were quite appealing and enjoyable!HE’S GONNA BE SORRY HE EVER MESSED WITH ME AND LORETTA LYNN“She’s got a hard life. Sings hard songs. She found a way up and out of her Kentucky holler. Miss Loretta is a miracle to me.”LEAH WEISS delivers an impressive read here told in the first person from the perspectives of quite a few different relatable and likeable characters that was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved. The ending was a complete surprise!To sum it all up it was an entertaining, steady-paced, and an easy read with a very satisfying ending. Highly recommend!!Thank you to NetGalley, Leah Weiss, and Sourcebooks, Inc. for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book for a fair and honest review.Review will not be posted on our Sister Blog until closer to publication date.All of Brenda & my reviews can be found on our Sister Blog:http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    "He broke bout every piece of sweet in you. You gonna let him break your spirit, too? You gonna do nothing?"Like an ol' country handmade quilt, Leah Weiss tells a story filled with stitches.....some even and small, some filled with tight knots, and some loose and dangling with disconnected threads. But each patch is essential to this tale with stories leaning in from the past that intertwine with the jagged pieces of the present.Sadie Blue seems to have been pierced time and time again by the sh "He broke bout every piece of sweet in you. You gonna let him break your spirit, too? You gonna do nothing?"Like an ol' country handmade quilt, Leah Weiss tells a story filled with stitches.....some even and small, some filled with tight knots, and some loose and dangling with disconnected threads. But each patch is essential to this tale with stories leaning in from the past that intertwine with the jagged pieces of the present.Sadie Blue seems to have been pierced time and time again by the sharp point of the darning needle. Abandoned by her own mother in her infancy and left to her own accord by her wayward father, Sadie holds on to the faint glimmer of a promise of love. But that brief flame of love is wrapped in the likes of Roy Tupkin. Roy has left her with child and with the deep bruised patterns of his version of love. Newly married, Sadie lives in the shadows of Roy's daily displeasures. In Appalachia, a man owns everything......even the breath of his wife.Sadie takes to visiting her grandmother, Gladys, who keeps quite the distance from her only granddaughter. Suffering seems to know the familiar address of those who ache with remorse. The walls of Gladys' little house are nearly falling down, but her emotional walls stand strong and rigid. For she has her own secrets kept in jars tightly sealed.Marris Jones is the go-between here. Filled with kindness that overflows, Marris tends to Gladys and to those neighbors who suffer from the pangs of hunger and hopelessness. There's a bright light within Marris that tries to shoo away the darkness. She circles around Sadie and offers up canned sweet pickles to Roy. But she knows only too well that there are thresholds in this shaky community that you just don't cross.Enter Kate Shaw, the newly hired school teacher who has a past that the local women wish to pick away at. Jealousy and spitefulness line the path to her cabin and privacy doesn't exist within these women's minds.....only theirs and not hers. But Kate will come forward as a beacon of strength along the way and prove that not all is seen nor heard.Leah Weiss has delivered a fine slice of Southern literature here. The colloquial dialogue is rich with quick retorts and well-thought-out responses that hit the bulls-eye of their intended targets. You can almost taste the flavor of the poorly intermeshed community who cling to each other's presence while demanding the privacy of their own "business". The diverse characters are well-honed by Weiss who heads each chapter brilliantly through the eyes of each of her main characters. Each petal on this flower gets its just due.I highly recommend If The Creek Don't Rise even if you're not prone to Southern lit. For this is raw humanity seasoned with grit. This story will hold you rigid like the tenor of a creaking rockingchair on a shady wooden porch. And the slight breeze will call it all to mind.
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  • Berit☀️✨Traveling Sister✨
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars rounded up! Almost perfect🌟This book was filled with such absolutely fantastic characters! It was the definition of a character driven novel....This book gave you a glimpse of the appellation culture in the 1970s.... this is a culture so very different from my own, and even though I did not understand everything about it, I sure did enjoy spending time with these characters.... One of my professors when I was in college said something that always sticks with me especially when I’m read 4.5 stars rounded up! Almost perfect🌟This book was filled with such absolutely fantastic characters! It was the definition of a character driven novel....This book gave you a glimpse of the appellation culture in the 1970s.... this is a culture so very different from my own, and even though I did not understand everything about it, I sure did enjoy spending time with these characters.... One of my professors when I was in college said something that always sticks with me especially when I’m reading about different cultures never judge somebody else’s culture by the values of your own.Something that I do find extremely wonderful about the appellation culture that I have found in almost every book I have read that takes place in Appalachia is the strength of the bond of the women in the community... as a rule I always love reading books with strong female friendships, and there were so many strong female bonds in this book, and the women really stood by one another (unless you weren’t from there of course)... clearly we all have room for improvement in this area!I read this book with my in person book club, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, I don’t believe there was a rating below 4 stars, and I don’t think that has ever happened before... it also made for a interesting and lively discussion... I would definitely strongly recommend this book! Especially if you enjoy a character driven story.... narration: the narrator of the audiobook did a phenomenal job of giving a different and unique voice to every one of these characters! Well done!💕
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    Baines Creek, high up in the Appalachian mountain, a poor place filled with impoverished people, a place where moonshine is king. A different style for the story telling in this as we hear from many of the people in this town and Sadie Blues own story is woven through the fabric of theirs. A very young, newly married pregnant woman, she vows her no good moonshining husband has beaten her for the last time. A preacher who hires a very different kind of woman than is usually found in these parts. Baines Creek, high up in the Appalachian mountain, a poor place filled with impoverished people, a place where moonshine is king. A different style for the story telling in this as we hear from many of the people in this town and Sadie Blues own story is woven through the fabric of theirs. A very young, newly married pregnant woman, she vows her no good moonshining husband has beaten her for the last time. A preacher who hires a very different kind of woman than is usually found in these parts. A sister who is afraid of losing her brother and Sadie's grandmother and aunt, all tell their stories adding to Sadie's own. A young woman goes missing and has the town both fearful and wondering.Gritty, southern story telling, these are tough people leading hard scrabbled lives. It is hard not to hope that Sadie will manage to overcome her misfortune and find some hope and success in creating a new and better life. She is the character we come to know the best, though just enough of the other characters stories are revealed to give us a glimpse of how and why they are living as they do now. A first novel from a promising and insightful new author. Her writing reminds me of the author Amy Greene.ARC from Netgalley.Publishes August 8th by Sourcebooks Landmark.
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  • Rebbie
    January 1, 1970
    This is a 5-star read. Period.Sadie Blue, a 17 year-old sweet Appalachian girl, is newly pregnant and newly wed to a vicious creature who uses her for a punching bag. All she wants is a quiet simple life where she can get an education and make the most out of her life, and offer her baby the opportunities that she never had. Sadie's sweetness and innocence is heartbreaking. There's no other way to put it. And this book does a fantastic job of showing how generations (especially in isolated areas This is a 5-star read. Period.Sadie Blue, a 17 year-old sweet Appalachian girl, is newly pregnant and newly wed to a vicious creature who uses her for a punching bag. All she wants is a quiet simple life where she can get an education and make the most out of her life, and offer her baby the opportunities that she never had. Sadie's sweetness and innocence is heartbreaking. There's no other way to put it. And this book does a fantastic job of showing how generations (especially in isolated areas) hold onto the chains of abuse whether they mean to or not. This book is similar in formula to The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, in that each section is told from a different person's perspective. And each person has a specific role to play in how that tiny area is connected, and how a series of events make people connect with each other. It has a stream-of-consciousness flow, which left me begging for more. In fact, the only complaint I have about this book is that its much too short. There wasn't enough time to go back and explore the characters further, which is sad because the depth of the characters is so rich and well-defined.If you like southern grit lit, or books like Bastard Out of Carolina, Divine Secrets of the YA-YA Sisterhood (or its subsequent novels), The Death of Sweet Mister, or Winter's Bone, then this book is right up your alley.Oh, one more thing! This is important. The very last sentence of this book is a shocker, so stick with it and you'll get your reward. Thanks to netgalley.
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsIf the Creek Don’t Rise isn’t a pretty story; it’s one full of cruelty, brutality, and darkness. Thankfully, there are glimpses of love, friendship, and kindness. This isn’t a plot driven novel, but rather a character study filled with the voices and souls of characters who struggle to find a modicum of hope in the Appalachian mountain town of Baines Creek, North Carolina. At the heart of it all is Sadie Blue, a character who is seeking hope in an impossible place: “I need to know how 4.5 starsIf the Creek Don’t Rise isn’t a pretty story; it’s one full of cruelty, brutality, and darkness. Thankfully, there are glimpses of love, friendship, and kindness. This isn’t a plot driven novel, but rather a character study filled with the voices and souls of characters who struggle to find a modicum of hope in the Appalachian mountain town of Baines Creek, North Carolina. At the heart of it all is Sadie Blue, a character who is seeking hope in an impossible place: “I need to know how to live different.” Each chapter is narrated by a different character, all of them tied by some link to Sadie Blue, who is a young pregnant newlywed, repeatedly beaten by her lowlife of a husband, Roy Tupkin. The POV’s continuously shift, and in doing so the good, the bad, and the ugly of Baines Creek is revealed. While the characters are not always admirable, they are at least truthful. Some have given up, while others are hopeful that life will change. Sadie longs for a change the most, and it seems she might have found her a way out when controversial teacher Kate Shaw comes to Baines Creek. I was captivated by the voices of the all of the characters; they are beautifully and vividly crafted, and even though it was hard to read the POV’s of some of them, it made the book even more well-rounded. Some are fragile, some abominable, and some completely enchanting. My personal favorite is BIrdie Rocas--I could read a whole book of her stories! This is one of those books that I didn't want to end, as I wanted to see more and know more about the motley crew of Baines Creek. And the ending?!--well that was a game changer, which left me feeling hopeful for Sadie Blue.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Weiss has spun me upside down in this backward county in the Appalachian mountains and made a southerner out of me. Kicked in the gut and sucker punched with one of the best books I have ever read. True southern grit with hillbillly charm. This story is told from several POV's centering on Sadie, who has recently been married and is pregnant with the last chance of escape, evaporating. The characters. Broken. The dialogue. Broken.The community. Broken.The prose. OMG. This was a finger snapping m Weiss has spun me upside down in this backward county in the Appalachian mountains and made a southerner out of me. Kicked in the gut and sucker punched with one of the best books I have ever read. True southern grit with hillbillly charm. This story is told from several POV's centering on Sadie, who has recently been married and is pregnant with the last chance of escape, evaporating. The characters. Broken. The dialogue. Broken.The community. Broken.The prose. OMG. This was a finger snapping masterpiece. From the deepest darkness these people have faced to the hope and survival an outsider brings. The bitterness; the courage to change. If it ain't wrong, it ain't right.All I know is this: If Weiss don't write another book, I will be broken.5++⭐️
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    3 out of 5 stars to If The Creek Don't Rise, an historical fiction novel set to be published in August 2017, written by Leah Weiss. I enjoyed reading the book, selecting 3 stars because it had several strong parts but also some concerns that I'll share later. Overall, I'm glad I read it. Why This Book I read the description of this book via NetGalley, where I search for all my ARCs, and thought it would be a great read prior to my upcoming trip to North Carolina, where I may be stopping in the 3 out of 5 stars to If The Creek Don't Rise, an historical fiction novel set to be published in August 2017, written by Leah Weiss. I enjoyed reading the book, selecting 3 stars because it had several strong parts but also some concerns that I'll share later. Overall, I'm glad I read it. Why This Book I read the description of this book via NetGalley, where I search for all my ARCs, and thought it would be a great read prior to my upcoming trip to North Carolina, where I may be stopping in the same rural mountain area. Plot, Characters & Setting This is an ensemble book about a cast of 10 characters in the mid 20th century who live in the rural area of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina. It covers a few events that occurred to some of the townspeople in Baines Creek, providing the view points from different sides of the story. It centers around Sadie Blue, a 17-year-old girl who marries the man who has just gotten her pregnant. From there, the book covers domestic abuse, murder, religion, family, love and friendships. At its core, the novel covers the various relationships built in the town, understanding who sits back doing nothing versus who takes action when they are passionate about the outcome and protection of life. Approach & Style I read the electronic version on my Kindle via an iPad over the course of five nights. The book is about 300 pages, each 20 pages long across 15 chapters. Each chapter is told from a different character's point of view, written in the first person perspective. Dialect is important given the book is recreating life during a historical time period in a very specific region where culture and society are quite different. Strengths The characters are very clear and distinct. Each of the major players has a voice you will recognize and understand. Sometimes you will love them and sometimes you will hate them, but each one will leave an impression.The setting is quite strong. You will feel transported to this rural town in the mountains. From the description, to the dialect and to the way the story unfolds, it matches what you'd expect from the constructs of this type of environment. You will feel like you are in the town.It deals with very specific personal and family issues that will resonate will a lot of people. From a social perspective, it highlights things that happened in the past that were almost condoned or allowed to happen, due to people's fears and lack of education or knowledge. Concerns When I read the description, I thought it would be a great plot and story. But when I read the book, it was quite different. This is not a novel where a primary plot point drives the chapters. It's a character-driven story that tells of the happenings in a small town. The plot isn't as important as the way each of the characters interpret it. I found myself skimming pages to get to the crux of the story, but it never happened. It's a preference style, and I think the book should be marketed differently and have an alternative description or cover summary. It would help find a different set of readers who enjoy this type of book. Had I known, I might have spent more time investing in the characters in the beginning rather than trying to piece together a plot that wasn't going to become any more clear. That said, it's still a well-written book and will appeal to a wide audience. Author & Other Similar Books Although they are not of the same caliber, it reminded me of the book Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Both books cover highly controversial social issues within a small town, telling the story of how everyone reacts to a few critical events. Where Beartown brings a focus on plot, this book is more about how people interpret society's values and actions. It's the author's first book, but she shows a lot of promise. I would read another of her books, but I'd want to be careful to understand the plot and approach to telling the story to verify it matches with the way I like to read a book. Final Thoughts In my world, a 3 is a good review. It means you had good elements and a few things I didn't quite latch on to. If this had a little more action and some clarity around the plot and point of the book, I might have given it a 4. That said, it will definitely resonate with many readers given it has a strong pull to connect you to the characters and the setting. Hope you enjoy it. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.[polldaddy poll=9729544]
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    5 North Carolina Huggable-Book Stars to If the Creek Don't RiseThis was a Traveling Sister read with Brenda, PorshaJo, Sarah, and Mary Beth. We all enjoyed the book and found many things to discuss!I'm a native North Carolinian, the state where the book takes place, and I knee-jerk reacted to the grammar and accent, not knowing the time period or that the book was centered around Appalachian culture deep in the mountains. I found it difficult to read at first, but it got better with some of the 5 North Carolina Huggable-Book Stars to If the Creek Don't RiseThis was a Traveling Sister read with Brenda, PorshaJo, Sarah, and Mary Beth. We all enjoyed the book and found many things to discuss!I'm a native North Carolinian, the state where the book takes place, and I knee-jerk reacted to the grammar and accent, not knowing the time period or that the book was centered around Appalachian culture deep in the mountains. I found it difficult to read at first, but it got better with some of the other characters' chapters, and then I must have gotten used to it. One of the things we discussed as a group was how the grammar added to the authenticity of the writing, and it definitely would not have been the same without it. I didn't know much about Loretta Lynn (though I want to learn more now!), so the time period was lost on me, and I felt like it was more the 50s or 60s rather than the 70s. I thought that may have been intentional by the author, to lose sense of time a little, because this place was left behind in so many ways, it could have been behind by ten or twenty years. This is a character-driven novel, and there were SO MANY characters to absolutely adore. From Eli Perkins, the preacher who worked hard to bring education to his mountain and sacrificed to do so, to Kate Shaw, the determined teacher who believed she could make a difference by staying, to Sadie Blue who comes of age in her own way, to Gladys, Marris, Birdie, Jerome, and Tattler, who are looking out for others. I loved every single one. Then there were the loathsome, dark, and abusive characters that stirred up all kinds of negative emotions. My only minor quibble with the book is that I didn't want it to end. I wanted more from each loveable character, but maybe the author left it open so there could be a sequel. I would love to visit Baines Creek again. This was a quick-paced, perfectly written novel filled with southern charm and backwoods grit, and it was a fantastic discussion book for our group. My highest recommendation. It's an absolutely huggable book. ❤️ For Traveling Sister Read reviews and more, please visit Brenda's and Norma's amazing blog at https://twogirlslostinacouleereading....
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  • Zoeytron
    January 1, 1970
    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.In the shadow cast by Bentwood Mountain lies the small town of Baines River, North Carolina. This is coal mining territory, and the accumulation of years of dust and grit coat the town gray on the inside and out. The local church is a magnet for folks with unanswered prayers, where false hopes are encouraged to flourish. Big news comes in the form of a new teacher in town. No shy and retiring schoolmarm, this lady is much older than her fail Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.In the shadow cast by Bentwood Mountain lies the small town of Baines River, North Carolina. This is coal mining territory, and the accumulation of years of dust and grit coat the town gray on the inside and out. The local church is a magnet for folks with unanswered prayers, where false hopes are encouraged to flourish. Big news comes in the form of a new teacher in town. No shy and retiring schoolmarm, this lady is much older than her failed predecessors. Tall and rawboned, Miss Kate Shaw wears her hair chopped off short and blunt, and is clad in britches rather than a dress. She aims to make a difference here. Folks in Baines River are slow to accept newcomers, though, especially one as different as Miss Shaw. If you come across an old woman in the woods with a tangled topknot of wild hair and a crow perching atop, you have found the aptly named Birdie Rocas. With her gnarled hands and knotty walking stick, Birdie is the area's medicine woman, midwife, and soothsayer. Have a care, this lady can see through you, right to your very core. Prudence Perkins, spinster sister of the town reverend, is sour, self-righteous, and mean-spirited. Granny Hicks, her frail old body hides a spine of pure steel and the nerve to match it. Roy Tupkin, a local miscreant, has just married young Sadie Blue. He's meaner than a snake with his slitted eyes and abusive ways. Sadie is sweet, but not too sweet. The scent of made-from-scratch huckleberry pie wafts through the air. Moonshine hot-rods carry 170 proof white lightning brewed in hidden stills and protected by camouflaged traps. What is in that poke sack toted by Jerome Biddle, the simple-minded man who speaks in rhymes? All the stars are burning bright for this one, my first five-star read this year. Don't miss it, it's a dandy.
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  • Dem
    January 1, 1970
    A superb and engaging novel set in the Appalachian mountains area of North Carolina. Heartbreaking and moving and an immensely affecting first novel that will have the reader turning the pages to get answers. I love reading books set in the Appalachian mountains and If The Creek Don't Rise certainly has characters that take hold of you and descriptions of the landscape and people make this a vivid and compelling read. “I used to pick wildflowers to bring cheer indoors. Prudence would turn righ A superb and engaging novel set in the Appalachian mountains area of North Carolina. Heartbreaking and moving and an immensely affecting first novel that will have the reader turning the pages to get answers. I love reading books set in the Appalachian mountains and If The Creek Don't Rise certainly has characters that take hold of you and descriptions of the landscape and people make this a vivid and compelling read. “I used to pick wildflowers to bring cheer indoors. Prudence would turn right around and throw them out. Said, “If God wanted flowers in a jar, He’d a planted em there.” ― Leah Weiss, If the Creek Don't Rise: A Novel The small town of Baines Creek really comes to life in this novel and I loved the feeling of mountain life that the author writes about so vivid and real and the characters struggle with poverty and education and are constantly looking for ways out of their harsh and tough envioment.A lyrical and gritty read with terrific likeable and dislikable characters and a book that I really enjoyed reading.
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  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Traveling Sisters Group read with Jennifer, PorshaJo, Sarah and Mary Beth I read If The Creek Don’t Rise with four of my Traveling Sisters and we all really enjoyed reading and discussing this one. If The Creek Don’t Rise is a gritty, heartfelt, and character-driven story with realistic and a colourful range of characters that gives an insightful look into the lives of a small Appalachian mountain community. Leah Weiss’ descriptions of mountain life right away gave us a good sense of place and t Traveling Sisters Group read with Jennifer, PorshaJo, Sarah and Mary Beth I read If The Creek Don’t Rise with four of my Traveling Sisters and we all really enjoyed reading and discussing this one. If The Creek Don’t Rise is a gritty, heartfelt, and character-driven story with realistic and a colourful range of characters that gives an insightful look into the lives of a small Appalachian mountain community. Leah Weiss’ descriptions of mountain life right away gave us a good sense of place and time, right down to the grammar she used for some characters and the references to Loretta Lynn. The references to Loretta Lynn brought back some memories for some of us and we enjoyed sharing our love for her. The story centers around pregnant teen Sadie and her abusive, husband Roy. Leah Weiss does a great job introducing us slowly to some mean and dislikable characters and with some who work for the good of their community, giving us a good sense of community. She weaves together the large cast of compelling voices, as they tell us their stories we begin to see how some added to the darkness in Roy and the strength and hope for Sadie. We all really liked the little twist in the end that cleverly gave a wow moment and that brought out some discussion from us. We all were very satisfied with the ending but it did leave some us wanting more from some of our loved characters. We recommend finding your comfy place with this book and finding if “he’s gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn”. We highly recommend for group reads. Thank you to Edelweiss, Sourcebooks and Leah Weiss for a copy to read and review.Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our sister blog:http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss is a 2017 Sourcebooks Landmark publication. Outstanding novel of feminine strength, southern grit, and escape-I knew this book might be difficult, that some passages would be painful, but, I also couldn’t escape the feeling this book was important, powerful, and not to be missed. What I never expected from this novel, though, was the atmosphere. I was taken completely off guard by the author’s writing and the presentation, which gives the story a Faulkner-li If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss is a 2017 Sourcebooks Landmark publication. Outstanding novel of feminine strength, southern grit, and escape-I knew this book might be difficult, that some passages would be painful, but, I also couldn’t escape the feeling this book was important, powerful, and not to be missed. What I never expected from this novel, though, was the atmosphere. I was taken completely off guard by the author’s writing and the presentation, which gives the story a Faulkner-like Southern Gothic undertone, something that always appeals to me. The novel is set high up in the Appalachian Mountains, in the 1970’s, and is centered around a young pregnant woman named Sadie Blue, who after only two weeks of marriage has discovered her husband, Roy, is the devil incarnate. As Sadie struggles to fight her way out of her dire circumstances, the novel goes on to feature the voices of other residents in this extremely small, impoverished community. Potent characters such as Sadie’s grandmother, Gladys, and the new teacher, Kate, tell their own story, all of them interconnecting to the current situation with Sadie, and the disappearance of a stripper named Darlene who may have been involved with Sadie’s husband. Each voice heard is a short story or vignette, of its own, which rounds out and deepens the impressions of the time frame, and the mindset of the folks in this harsh, isolated land. Each personality that emerged gave me a fresh look at how limited these people and their recourses were. There is a mystery to solve, conflicts to overcome, but overall, this is a story that highlights the inner strength these characters, especially the women, manifested under extreme duress, as well as the juxtapositions of the character’s personalities- such as Marris/ Prudence. Morris is a shining light, as opposed to Prudence’s bitterness and to some extent, Gladys’s saltiness. Kate is smart, and makes an immediate impact, is very bold and helpful, but her lack of Appalachian savvy could come back to haunt her if she isn’t given some prudent advice, perhaps from Birdie’s book of truths. Some storylines float around with no real follow-up, but serve to give us insight into the community, the dialect and vernacular, various conflicted emotions and circumstances, as well as highlighting the obvious poverty, and lack of basic education, which can keep people trapped in a vicious cycle or force them to take drastic measures, in the name of self – preservation, or escape. There is much to ponder within the pages of this novel, due to all those vivid characterizations and descriptions which created a powerful, intense drama, steeped in country traditions and lovely, but heartbreaking poignancy. The conclusion was slightly abrupt, but packs a hefty punch, which left me slack jawed and stunned, at first, but ultimately, I must confess, I loved it. Overall, the novel is a nice piece of rich southern literature. Its Loretta Lynn soundtrack provides a nice, and appropriate backdrop to the harsh, lush darkness of the tale, with its lacing of black humor sprinkled in here and there, which pays homage to the land, to the people, and to a genre of fiction that is all too rare these days. This is quite an impressive debut, which honored and respected the time and place, and vividly created unforgettable characters who will remain in my mind and heart for a long time to come. 5 stars
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    It is 1970, and we follow the story of a young Appalachian girl, Sadie Blue age 17, pregnant and newly married to an evil young man who is abusive.This story takes place in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina and we are introduced to quite a cast of characters.I really enjoyed this book. I hope there is a follow up to learn more about the people we met in this town.Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks, and author Leah Weiss for the ARC
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  • Sarah Joint
    January 1, 1970
    Grammar lovers beware, you're in for a scare! This is an alternately bleak and hopeful portrait of Appalachia in the 1970's. Due to my own ignorance about the people and culture of this area at that time, I assumed it was earlier on. The schooling is dismal, the people run wild, and there's hardly any law to speak of. I've never met characters like these ones, and I probably never will. Some are easy to love, some are easy to hate, and some you just want to wrap in your arms and protect. There's Grammar lovers beware, you're in for a scare! This is an alternately bleak and hopeful portrait of Appalachia in the 1970's. Due to my own ignorance about the people and culture of this area at that time, I assumed it was earlier on. The schooling is dismal, the people run wild, and there's hardly any law to speak of. I've never met characters like these ones, and I probably never will. Some are easy to love, some are easy to hate, and some you just want to wrap in your arms and protect. There's many characters to keep track of, and I found almost all of them fascinating. The only thing that kept it from being a five star for me was some lagging around the middle, but it's a great read and a real departure from the books I usually enjoy. Sadie Blue isn't the only girl with a rotten husband, but Roy may just be the worst. She married him after she became pregnant. They never really knew each other that well. Now they're going to have a baby... and Sadie is getting beat. She's married a cruel man and sees no way out, until a little light enters her life by way of the tallest woman she's ever seen. Kate Shaw has come to teach the children of Baines Creek... the ones who want to learn, anyway. She's intelligent, brave, driven, and (GASP!) a feminist. Most of the townsfolk have no idea what to make of her, but some are drawn to her. She just might make some changes to Baines Creek yet. There are many other rich characters, but I'm not going to go into too much detail. The characters are the absolute heart of the novel. You'll despise some and learn to love others as their stories unfold from their own perspective. Almost all have experienced true sorrow in their lives, the kind of hurt many of us can't even imagine. A beautifully written tale about an unfamiliar way of life. I read this with The Traveling Sisters group and it incited a lot of debate and discussion. This would be a wonderful read for a book club.Am I the only one who now wants a crow for a friend?I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and Sourcebooks Landmark, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    I've been in a slump of just ok books and was craving one that was special. Well, I found it. Weiss has a unique voice. She captures the whole Appalachian scene - the vocabulary, the falling down houses, the likker, the poverty. I'm a sucker for the well turned phrase and I was highlighting sentences here, one after another. Told from various perspectives, including Sadie, a young pregnant wife constantly beaten up by her no good husband, Gladys, her grandmother, Eli, the preacher and Kate, the I've been in a slump of just ok books and was craving one that was special. Well, I found it. Weiss has a unique voice. She captures the whole Appalachian scene - the vocabulary, the falling down houses, the likker, the poverty. I'm a sucker for the well turned phrase and I was highlighting sentences here, one after another. Told from various perspectives, including Sadie, a young pregnant wife constantly beaten up by her no good husband, Gladys, her grandmother, Eli, the preacher and Kate, the teacher come up from the valley. Every character is unique and you feel like you have actually met each and every one of them. You won't like all of them, but you will understand them. I have discovered I really like books that use multiple perspectives; at least those done well. Fans of Elizabeth Strout will enjoy this book for that very reason. This book would make a great book club selection and the publisher has wisely included questions in the back for that purpose. I can't get over the fact that this is a debut novel. It is just that wonderful. A great ending that I didn’t see coming but fit perfectly. Highly recommend. My thanks to netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    If for no other reason, it's worth reading If the Creek Don't Rise to read the very last sentence in this intense book. But there are plenty of other reasons to read it. Set in the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina in 1970, the novel is told from the alternating points of view of connected characters. Weiss portrays the harsh brutality that comes with poverty, lack of education and isolation. At the same time, there are some threads of relief through community, and shared history and stori If for no other reason, it's worth reading If the Creek Don't Rise to read the very last sentence in this intense book. But there are plenty of other reasons to read it. Set in the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina in 1970, the novel is told from the alternating points of view of connected characters. Weiss portrays the harsh brutality that comes with poverty, lack of education and isolation. At the same time, there are some threads of relief through community, and shared history and stories. While each chapter focuses on a particular character, the book begins and ends with Sadie Blue, who married a brutal man when she was far too young. As each character tells his or her story, we also find out a bit more about Sadie and how the community deals with her situation. I liked some parts more than others. I especially liked Sadie's grandmother and aunt. I also liked that Weiss introduced an outsider in the form of a new teacher who comes to live in the community -- her perspective adds a lot of dimension to the book as a whole. I also like that we see Sadie's husband's perspective. Overall, I thought If the Creek Don't Rise was a really strong debut novel. Weiss has created great characters, a strong sense of time and place, and a story that delivers real emotions -- right up to the last sentence. My only criticism is that there seemed to be a tension in what the novel was trying to be -- at times it felt like interconnected stories a la Olive Kitteridge and at other times it felt like a novel with a unified plot driving toward a dramatic end. It meant that some strings of plot were left dangling while others were closed off. This is not a reason not to read If the Creek Don't Rise. The strengths are good enough to make up for what is likely due to the fact that this is a first novel. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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