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
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 8th, 2017
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
ISBN1492647454
ISBN-139781492647454
Number of pages320 pages
Rating
GenreHistorical, Fiction, Adult, Did Not Finish, American, Americana, Drama, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Realistic Fiction, Sociology, Abuse

If The Creek Don't Rise Review

  • Kristin (KC)
    February 9, 2017
    *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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  • Cheri
    January 29, 2017
    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 savin 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
    May 20, 2017
    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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  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    March 25, 2017
    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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  • Arah-Lynda
    February 8, 2017
    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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  • Carol
    February 20, 2017
    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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  • Norma
    February 23, 2017
    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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  • Diane S ☔
    February 18, 2017
    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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  • Zoeytron
    February 18, 2017
    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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  • Susanne Strong
    March 15, 2017
    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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  • Rebbie
    January 6, 2017
    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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  • Karen
    February 4, 2017
    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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  • Liz
    July 30, 2017
    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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  • Lori
    March 25, 2017
    What marvelously poignant storytelling. 1970's Appalachia is what most would call a 'god forsaken' place; a dot on the map. But, to the people that have settled there for generations it's home and carries its own rules for survival. "This protracted scene in primitive Appalachia—in the throes of another angry storm that refuses to end, when political assassinations and civil rights battles and the birth control pill change tomorrows down below—is timeless and tiring." This is a bitter sweet stor What marvelously poignant storytelling. 1970's Appalachia is what most would call a 'god forsaken' place; a dot on the map. But, to the people that have settled there for generations it's home and carries its own rules for survival. "This protracted scene in primitive Appalachia—in the throes of another angry storm that refuses to end, when political assassinations and civil rights battles and the birth control pill change tomorrows down below—is timeless and tiring." This is a bitter sweet story of finding hope when there is little light.
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  • Michael
    May 25, 2017
    The author renders through a set of strikingly vivid characters the life of a community in the fictional village of Baines Creek in the remote hollers of Appalachian North Carolina circa 1970. Our star is young teenaged Sadie, who tires of living with her flaky father and elopes with the wrong flashy dude, Roy, and soon gets pregnant. He turns out to be a moonshine runner who drinks too much of his product and unleashes his monstrous self in classic redneck ways, racist attitudes, and physical a The author renders through a set of strikingly vivid characters the life of a community in the fictional village of Baines Creek in the remote hollers of Appalachian North Carolina circa 1970. Our star is young teenaged Sadie, who tires of living with her flaky father and elopes with the wrong flashy dude, Roy, and soon gets pregnant. He turns out to be a moonshine runner who drinks too much of his product and unleashes his monstrous self in classic redneck ways, racist attitudes, and physical abusiveness. Sadie tries to live between crises with Roy while she works on a strategy to escape her situation. Along the way, she gets a lot of moral encouragement and hospitality from her elderly neighbor Marris, whose optimism may be excessive to some, but just what Sadie needs. She pays benevolence forward by helping the new teacher, Kate, get set up, and in turn gets an offer to teach her to read. Reverend Eli Perkins makes a balm for her soul and recognizes the evil in Roy and the evidence of his beatings, but he doesn’t have a practical answer for her. Another empathetic neighbor, the ancient and shaman-like Birdie, is wise in the ways of herbal medicine and solving human problems, despite the lunacy apparent in her hosting a crow’s nest in her hair. We wonder how all these good people in Sadie’s life are going to really help her out of her fix. We spend time in the minds of these lively characters and learn how each has their own engaging story, which just happens to intersect with that of Sadie. Going into Roy’s perspective I suppose humanized him a bit, but likely not so pleasant an experience for most readers. The social sciences struggle to identify the fountains of resilience at the same time as they identify the lasting imprints of poverty and insecurities brought on by a hardscrabble life and periodic traumas (“Adverse Childhood Experiences” the current label). All the characters illustrate these principles in spades. The author of “Hillbilly Elegy” accounts for his resilience and ability to escape his tough life and traditions of his Kentucky clan as largely based on just enough nurturing love from some family members (for him a grandfather) and his luck in finding the right people (e.g. a special teacher) to provide timely help along his way. For Sadie here, her ability to create a virtual family seems promising to help her tap into some of that vital resilience, but nothing she does seems to keep Roy from getting more out of control.The heroic actions of a girl in a rural community that has turned its back on stopping bullies engenders a lot of the same feeling I got from Woodrell’s “Winter’s Bone.” The need for some women’s juju and touches of magical realism for Sadie to succeed also reminds me of Hoffman’s “Practical Magic”. The creation of a virtual family to sustain a time of adversity and chaos bears some of the same revelations as Ward’s wonderful “Salvage the Bones.” By comparison with these stories, Weiss’ characters were their equal in their veracity, but I was disappointed that they didn’t progress much through their moral choices in life. Maybe Weiss plans to continue with the characters’ lives in future books. I longed to see the teacher Kate fully integrated into her adopted community, perhaps through some kind of romance with reverend Eli. I would certainly like to get more on the lives of these well wrought characters.This book was provided for review by the publisher through the Netgalley program.
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  • Kathleen
    May 24, 2017
    Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me with an advanced reading copy of The Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss.Whoa! If you think you can handle it, you NEED to read this book! I started it and could not stop until I finished reading it! The characters are so real! Preacher Eli Perkins with his caring and kind ways acts just as I think a man of the cloth would in similar circumstances. Birdie Rocas and Kathleen (Kate) Shaw certainly stimulate my curiosity. Samuel was ama Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me with an advanced reading copy of The Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss.Whoa! If you think you can handle it, you NEED to read this book! I started it and could not stop until I finished reading it! The characters are so real! Preacher Eli Perkins with his caring and kind ways acts just as I think a man of the cloth would in similar circumstances. Birdie Rocas and Kathleen (Kate) Shaw certainly stimulate my curiosity. Samuel was amazing! I know crows are intelligent, but Samuel 'takes the cake'. Secrets! It seems that everyone is hiding something and keeping secrets. Some secrets are not as secret as the person thinks. There's a lot of hurt!My heart went out to dear sweet Sadie Blue!
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  • ☮Karen
    June 3, 2017
    I just can't resist sharing some of my favorite passages from this book, minus quotation marks since they are from a pre-publication copy I obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.I don't smile. No sir. Life's too shitty. For a old woman, it's more shit than I can shovel. I can't remember if I ever had a choice but to put one foot in front of the other and walk the line on a rocky road to nowhere.The first thing that struck me about this debut, aside from writing that is an absolute delight, w I just can't resist sharing some of my favorite passages from this book, minus quotation marks since they are from a pre-publication copy I obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.I don't smile. No sir. Life's too shitty. For a old woman, it's more shit than I can shovel. I can't remember if I ever had a choice but to put one foot in front of the other and walk the line on a rocky road to nowhere.The first thing that struck me about this debut, aside from writing that is an absolute delight, was that this Appalachian tale tells mostly of the resident women folk and the smattering of simply good people who live in Baines Creek, a remote mountain community. It seems most stories that are set in Appalachia have mean, nasty, law-breaking men as the main characters. Here Sadie Blue stands out among the crowd of narrators, beaten beyond recognition and redemption; beaten down but stronger and wiser for it, as was her grandmother before her. These women aren't perfect by any means, but the mood of the story is such that we forgive them and understand. Even the three darkest characters have their backgrounds revealed so that we understand them too. Don't like them, but understand them, to an extent.It is 1970 on the mountain, and the entire gamut of emotions is felt both there and in your heart as you read about this small town.Sometimes I feel this old mountain breathing weary. The high thin air gets sucked deep into her lungs, all the way back to the start of time. I know her secrets and sins. This high place is hard on folks who give in or give up. For those who stay, Baines Creek is enough. It really was enough for me these past few days to take a short trip there and spend time getting to know everyone. A real treat.
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  • Karen
    February 11, 2017
    If The Creek Don't Rise By Leah WeissThis story takes place in the mountains of Appalachia in the 1970's. What struck me was how insulated this world really is. Sadie Blue young and pregnant is newly married to Roy Tupkin who beats her on a regular basis. My favorite character's are Sadie, Marris and Kate Shaw, the new school teacher from the valley. There is poverty and abuse, but this novel is never depressing or bleak. The feelings of love and warmth shared by most of the community in the way If The Creek Don't Rise By Leah WeissThis story takes place in the mountains of Appalachia in the 1970's. What struck me was how insulated this world really is. Sadie Blue young and pregnant is newly married to Roy Tupkin who beats her on a regular basis. My favorite character's are Sadie, Marris and Kate Shaw, the new school teacher from the valley. There is poverty and abuse, but this novel is never depressing or bleak. The feelings of love and warmth shared by most of the community in the way they take care of each other is tender and heart warming. This gem of a book is one that I absolutely loved and will never forget.In this debut novel about Baines Creek, North Carolina the setting comes alive and is as richly drawnas each of the several characters which are mostly loveable. I enjoyed reading every page of this book from cover to cover. I was so totally absorbed I was sad as I saw myself approaching the last few pages of this lovely novel. The character's were all very vivid and came to life on the pages as I was captivated with all five senses taking in the beauty of the Mountain and the woods. From moonshine to the support given to each other offered hope and genuine good will. There are a few bad character's but they are out numbered by all of the kind souls which makes this such a hopeful existence for most of the character's who inhabit Baines Creek. Marris, who was always ready and happy to help all of the character's in this community was one of my favorite character's. I truly enjoyed seeing Kate Shaw who is the new school teacher adapt and thrive in this hard scrabble, insulated environment. My heart was truly warmed witnessing Kate Shaw's authentic goal of teaching the students to read and giving them a reward of picking out penny candy as a way of motivating participation for the students. I loved how she seamlessly adapted to her environment. I also think Kate was brave for living up on the mountain and truly adapt to life in Appalachia. Rather then running off from all of the pranks visited upon her she has absolute respect for learning everything she can from every one who she comes into contact with.I don't remember a book that I loved both the character's and the way the character's cared for each other so deeply and profoundly. I really needed to read such a tremendous story at this time. At first the dialect was confusing, but almost immediately I grew to love each and every voice in this story. I was transported and captivated by the prose and think the author is talented to have had the ability of making me want to spend more time with these character's. I was left bereft knowing that it will take a long time for me to find a book I enjoyed as much as this one. I am going to buy a physical copy to own when the book is released for publication for all of my friends to own as well.Thank you to Net Galley, Leah Weiss and the Publisher for the pleasure of reading and reviewing this digital copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Ace
    July 17, 2017
    For a debut novel, this has some amazing writing and characterisation of strength and courage in what appears to be the dead end of the world. Told by several different players, its basically the story of Sadie Blue, young and pregnant with no future to speak of. My favourite parts of the story contained Kate Shaw and Birdie Rocas, strong and independent women who were not afraid to be themselves, even if the hillbillies didn't like it.Thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for the opportunity to r For a debut novel, this has some amazing writing and characterisation of strength and courage in what appears to be the dead end of the world. Told by several different players, its basically the story of Sadie Blue, young and pregnant with no future to speak of. My favourite parts of the story contained Kate Shaw and Birdie Rocas, strong and independent women who were not afraid to be themselves, even if the hillbillies didn't like it.Thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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  • Angie Hay
    January 9, 2017
    First, my reaction at the end, “Holy Crap!”, mouth wide open in awe with a huge smile! Wasn’t expecting that. . . Throughout the read you meet a series of characters. Each chapter is a different person with their view points on the days that lead to the most dramatic ending. Each character goes through 1-2 days of their view points while the main character, Sadie Blue, is an underline reason we are reading this story. Sadie Blue is a young lady that gets wrapped up in a man named Roy Tupkin, who First, my reaction at the end, “Holy Crap!”, mouth wide open in awe with a huge smile! Wasn’t expecting that. . . Throughout the read you meet a series of characters. Each chapter is a different person with their view points on the days that lead to the most dramatic ending. Each character goes through 1-2 days of their view points while the main character, Sadie Blue, is an underline reason we are reading this story. Sadie Blue is a young lady that gets wrapped up in a man named Roy Tupkin, who abuses her to no end (Lisbeth Salander would come in and save her if Stieg Larsson was still alive and his books would still deliver a great meaning of women's rights!!). She carries their baby which causes her hand in marriage with this monster. Roy has a shadow friend named Billy. Billy follows and does whatever Roy demands. His character comes in later in the book when you find out what he really thinks and wants to do. Then you have the random people that live around Sadie Blue’s life and town. You find out what their view points are about the small drama that happens in this small Appalachian mountain town. Sadie Blue is a determined little female that wants to make better of herself but is stuck in this poison marriage. You see her characteristics change when the little town brings in a new teacher by the name of Miss Katie Shaw. Miss Katie is a strong bold woman who isn’t afraid of the townies that don’t accept her when she first moves in to help the children that desperately need education. You find out what her views are early on in the story and later on when she gets acclimated to the culture in the Appalachian Baines Creek. Meanwhile, you get to read Roy Tupkin’s view point. When I first came upon his chapter, my feelings about it was a little scared, pissed, and disgusted. I thought, why on earth would I want to read what he thinks and does. I didn’t want to find out what he was doing to Sadie, or when he wasn’t with Sadie, where he was and why. Trust me, you want to read it! There is a small mystery woman in the background of the story that disappears and the small town doesn’t exactly try hard to find her, but you find out throughout the story what really happens. This isn’t much closure to that, but there is closure to other events!This book receives a 5.0! I really enjoyed the character view points, the feel-good moments, the danger moments, and the ending! I highly recommend this read when it comes out. Please take note that some of the chapters/characters are from very southern-deep-in-the-woods dialect, but once you get past that, you meet characters that are well spoken.
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  • Tania
    July 23, 2017
    Sleep is gonna come. It always does, but so do rememberings. Sometimes they take me places I don't wanna go. Sometimes the take me places I don't wanna leave.Probably 3.5 stars, but I learned so much about the Appalachian region that I had to up it to four stars. Life is very hard and isolated in this area, and the people are very poor, some of the kids only have sacks to wear for clothing. They also talk their own dialect (which is beautifully portrayed in the book), and ways of making money in Sleep is gonna come. It always does, but so do rememberings. Sometimes they take me places I don't wanna go. Sometimes the take me places I don't wanna leave.Probably 3.5 stars, but I learned so much about the Appalachian region that I had to up it to four stars. Life is very hard and isolated in this area, and the people are very poor, some of the kids only have sacks to wear for clothing. They also talk their own dialect (which is beautifully portrayed in the book), and ways of making money includes digging ginseng and selling moonshine. If The Creek Don't Rise is written in first-person, but each chapter by a different "first person". Every perspective provides you with more insight into their own backstory and choices they have made. I loved that the voices were all very distinct, and that the author could make me feel sympathy for even the evillest of characters. I think I would have liked this book to be longer, with more complete stories for all of the people in the book. Except for Sadie most of the stories were left up in the air. I suspect this may become a series, in which case I will definitely be reading the next installment.The Story: Sadie, pregnant and newly married to Roy Tupkin, has experienced hell and heartache over her 17 years. Abandoned by her mother as an infant, orphaned when her father died when she was an adolescent, Sadie lived with her cold, curmudgeonly grandmother, Gladys Hicks, until she tied the knot with Roy. And so far, her honeymoon has consisted of violent beatings and berating tongue-lashings.
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  • Becky
    November 15, 2016
    A debut novel & an arc. Thank you Net Galley for this advance copy in return for an honest review.I wasn't sure at first when this story took place but through bits & pieces & finally a date, we learn that is 1970. The main character is Sadie Blue, 17 years old. Lover of Loretta Lynn. Poor, alone, no one to care for her & no education, she starts to "date" the local bad boy. This is a back wood, scrappy story. She takes up with Roy & he is not a good person. Times are hard, l A debut novel & an arc. Thank you Net Galley for this advance copy in return for an honest review.I wasn't sure at first when this story took place but through bits & pieces & finally a date, we learn that is 1970. The main character is Sadie Blue, 17 years old. Lover of Loretta Lynn. Poor, alone, no one to care for her & no education, she starts to "date" the local bad boy. This is a back wood, scrappy story. She takes up with Roy & he is not a good person. Times are hard, life is hard & Sadie really has no one to help her nor does she even know that life doesn't have to be like this.A new teacher arrives in this small Appalachian town & this teacher gives Sadie hope. The chapters go back & forth between a variety of characters ( some are real characters!) & we get a glimpse of parts of the back story of a few of the main characters.It really was a sad story, & I am sure there are parts of this area where people still live like this- poor, uneducated & without hope. It was an engaging story & I was rooting for Sadie all the way...
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  • Malou Jax
    June 29, 2017
    !!!!! I accidentally removed my review of this absolute diamond of a book! balls!! Well, you just have to take my word for it, because this is beautiful and warm and gorgeously written and..and..
  • Jen
    January 21, 2017
    I am thrilled to have received this advance reader's copy from NetGalley. This book is fabulous! Beautiful prose, compelling story. I couldn't put it down. The way the story is told is brilliant—first person from the perspectives of several characters in the book. The characters are complex, developed and relatable. There are some you'll love and some you'll hate. I was fully surprised by unexpected plot twists. This is an enthralling, captivating look at hillbilly life in Appalachia. (This fits I am thrilled to have received this advance reader's copy from NetGalley. This book is fabulous! Beautiful prose, compelling story. I couldn't put it down. The way the story is told is brilliant—first person from the perspectives of several characters in the book. The characters are complex, developed and relatable. There are some you'll love and some you'll hate. I was fully surprised by unexpected plot twists. This is an enthralling, captivating look at hillbilly life in Appalachia. (This fits in wonderfully with Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith, and Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance). I am so eager to read more from this author! A solid five stars.
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  • Sara
    April 17, 2017
    THIS BOOK.I loved this. Adored it. Want it/need it to be ten times as long as it currently is.This book was like the literary equivalent of warmth and comfort. I didn't find this novel to be sad at all. I found it to be full of hope and love, full of people looking to better themselves in a place where betterment of oneself was typically frowned upon. The characters are three-dimensional and real, from sweet Sadie to curmudgeonly old Prudence, the situations - some very somber and heartwrenching THIS BOOK.I loved this. Adored it. Want it/need it to be ten times as long as it currently is.This book was like the literary equivalent of warmth and comfort. I didn't find this novel to be sad at all. I found it to be full of hope and love, full of people looking to better themselves in a place where betterment of oneself was typically frowned upon. The characters are three-dimensional and real, from sweet Sadie to curmudgeonly old Prudence, the situations - some very somber and heartwrenching - felt real, and I felt so much passion for the people of Baines Creek and the town itself. 1970s Appalachia doesn't sound overly appealing on the off, but Leah Weiss made it so. The place had a heart as big as Sadie Blue and Aunt Marris. I have but one criticism: to me, it ended abruptly and somewhat predictably (though regardless, the scenario was perfect) and I felt the reader could have been given so much more. What happens to Miss Shaw and Preacher Perkins? What happens to everybody else!? I'm dying to know, I would love for there to be a sequel or some kind of continuation. Thank you so much to Netgalley, Leah Weiss and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this in advance.
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  • Lena♥Ribka
    December 29, 2016
    Beautiful prose, deeply developed characters, engaging story-line, unforgettable read. I wish I could adopt the blurb and make it to my review. It has absolutely everything that a reader needs to know to decide if it is worth it to read this book or not. Honestly, just read the blurb and you will know. This book is a pure beauty, in words and in a way the story is told. It has a very unique structure, a multiple first person pov. I'm not a big fan of changing POV, and I have never imagined that Beautiful prose, deeply developed characters, engaging story-line, unforgettable read. I wish I could adopt the blurb and make it to my review. It has absolutely everything that a reader needs to know to decide if it is worth it to read this book or not. Honestly, just read the blurb and you will know. This book is a pure beauty, in words and in a way the story is told. It has a very unique structure, a multiple first person pov. I'm not a big fan of changing POV, and I have never imagined that a multiple viewpoint novel could be such a satisfying read, and even less that a debut author can master the challenge with such ease and style. Set in a small provincial community, in North Carolina, in the Appalachian mountain, in the 1970s, If The Creek Don't Rise: A Novel tells the story of Sadie Blue, of finding hopes and strength to be able to take fate in her own hands. Breathtaking nature as an astonishing contrast to the terribly poor living and social conditions. (view spoiler)[For me it was shocking to learn how poor and uneducated were the people who lived in this area. I couldn't believe I was reading about the 1970s setting in the USA, and not about the much earlier period of time in some foreign country, abandoned by God and civilization. (hide spoiler)]I absolutely LOVE this book. ***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Reading Challenge 2017 -11. A book about a difficult Topic
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  • L.P. Logan
    December 5, 2016
    Okay, okay, okay . . . I gotta get my thoughts together on this one. Because let's be frank, this book is extremely difficult to read. Set in backwoods Appalachia, the author makes sure that each one of her characters speak a dialect of English I'd have a hard enough time following if I was to hear it spoken - let alone try and read a whole novel of it. But somehow . . . all of that just added to its charm. Yeah. I'm pretty sure it did now that I'm looking back on it. The characters are given a Okay, okay, okay . . . I gotta get my thoughts together on this one. Because let's be frank, this book is extremely difficult to read. Set in backwoods Appalachia, the author makes sure that each one of her characters speak a dialect of English I'd have a hard enough time following if I was to hear it spoken - let alone try and read a whole novel of it. But somehow . . . all of that just added to its charm. Yeah. I'm pretty sure it did now that I'm looking back on it. The characters are given a different dimension when you are reading how they would speak and think in their own comfort zone. It was different for me, and an aspect I'm only appreciating now that I'm looking back on it. I will straight up tell you that when you're reading this one, you better go in prepared to see the entire story through because otherwise you might give it up. And I can't say that you will be rewarded for sticking it out. Its a sad story, full of situations, and thought processes that are just hard for the heart to read and experience. I will say, however, that if you manage to make it through this one you'll be left with an ending that just makes you say, "WHAT?!?!?!?!" out of shock, surprise, and disgust. And honestly, that ending, is so perfect that I'm still just jittery over it.
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  • Irene
    March 12, 2017
    Set in the 1970s in a small settlement called Baines Creek, this is mainly the story of Sadie Blue, a 17 year old Appalachian girl in an abusive marriage. Told from multiple points of view including Sadie herself, the preacher and his spinster sister, her grandma who survived her own abusive marriage and the new school teacher Kate who befriends her. The town may be tiny but the kindness of some of it's inhabitants is huge as they try to bring a bit of comfort to those in need. Not to say that a Set in the 1970s in a small settlement called Baines Creek, this is mainly the story of Sadie Blue, a 17 year old Appalachian girl in an abusive marriage. Told from multiple points of view including Sadie herself, the preacher and his spinster sister, her grandma who survived her own abusive marriage and the new school teacher Kate who befriends her. The town may be tiny but the kindness of some of it's inhabitants is huge as they try to bring a bit of comfort to those in need. Not to say that all is sweetness and light here because there are certainly some characters I loved to hate! Many characters also have their own back stories going on which add a lot of heart and drama to this mesmerizing story. I received an advance copy for review
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  • Sherwood Smith
    July 24, 2017
    This impressive debut novel is set circa 1970 in the mountain community of Baines Creek in the Appalachian Mountains in NC. Weaving back and forth in time, we get point of view chapters from the various denizens of this town scratching for survival, centered around Sadie Blue, seventeen, pregnant and two weeks into her marriage to Roy Tupkin. Her grandmother and elderly neighbor tried to warn her, but she was stubborn: two weeks into her marriage, after enduring brutal beatings, Sadie knows she This impressive debut novel is set circa 1970 in the mountain community of Baines Creek in the Appalachian Mountains in NC. Weaving back and forth in time, we get point of view chapters from the various denizens of this town scratching for survival, centered around Sadie Blue, seventeen, pregnant and two weeks into her marriage to Roy Tupkin. Her grandmother and elderly neighbor tried to warn her, but she was stubborn: two weeks into her marriage, after enduring brutal beatings, Sadie knows she has made a mistake. We also see life through the eyes of her grandmother Gladys, who knows plenty about drunken, abusive husbands—and her good-hearted neighbor Marris, who had an excellent husband, but he’s dead. Slowly the viewpoints spiral out to the preacher Eli Perkins, who really is a saint, doing his best for sinner and faithful alike, and Kate, Shaw, the new teacher in town, with whom he forges a friendship despite her being an unbeliever—and in spite of his sour sister Prudence, jealous with deadly bitterness.Then there is Birdie Rocas, the local wisewoman . . . oh, I think it would be a mistake to get too deeply into the story in this review. It’s best encountered one chapter and person at a time, as the tale winds as slow and inevitable as the seasons around Sadie Blue and her story.The prose is full of local dialect, richly vivid, evoking the sights and smells and seasons in those deep mountain valleys. The reader gets to know every dish, every piece of furniture, every worn and mended rag, and what they mean as these people survive at the edge of the filthy coal mining industry that mars the stunning and wild beauty. It’s a remarkable tale, like nothing else—immensely unputdownable until the quiet knell of the end.Copy provided by NetGalley
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  • Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
    March 30, 2017
    If The Creek Don't Rise takes place in a very small and remote Appalachian mountain community called Baines Creek in North Carolina. Taking place in the 1970's, many can't read, as education is fairly unheard of and severe poverty is considered normal among Baines Creek residents. We first meet Sadie Blue, who is 17, pregnant and newly married to her husband Roy Turpkin. She has only been married 15 days when she Roy starts hitting her and she knows she should her listened to her grandmother and If The Creek Don't Rise takes place in a very small and remote Appalachian mountain community called Baines Creek in North Carolina. Taking place in the 1970's, many can't read, as education is fairly unheard of and severe poverty is considered normal among Baines Creek residents. We first meet Sadie Blue, who is 17, pregnant and newly married to her husband Roy Turpkin. She has only been married 15 days when she Roy starts hitting her and she knows she should her listened to her grandmother and other folks who told her to stay away from him. When someone new comes to town and gives everyone a new perspective, Sadie starts to believe there might be more to life then just being Roy's life.This book is told from a variety of perspectives including Sadie Blue, her grandmother Gladys Hicks, Glady's next door neighbor Marris Jones, the local Pastor, Eli Perkins, as well as 6 other perspectives. I have only read one other book where I enjoyed this type of perspective, but it did work pretty well in this story. Although I wish I had been able to hear from Sadie's perspective a bit more. The language the book is written in is also fairly spot on to the Appalachia region where Baines Creek is located in the book. Anyone from or who has spent time there will instantly feel like they are listening to a neighbors conversation while reading this book. I haven't spent much time in the area, but it instantly brought back a lot of memories. The language might be difficult for some people to read, it did take me one chapter to adjust, but after that I really enjoyed it.I really liked all of the characters in this book and because they live in such a small community, they are all so intertwined with each other. I love Glady and Marris and could easily see Glady sitting on her front porch in the evening watching the night roll in. All of the characters are well developed, even though we only hear from them each for one or two chapters. Although, again I would have enjoyed hearing a bit more from Sadie, otherwise it was a well written book with a pretty good ending. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced reading copy of this book.
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