Thursday, 18 October 2018

Gap Creek - Robert Morgan

I've seen this compared to These is my Words - the diary of Sarah Prine. Different setting, but that same kind of  'history within a novel'  kind of thing.   And  it is certainly worth reading. From  the Appalachian Mountains of  North Carolina, Julie and Hank, newly married, walk down the mountain into Gap Creek, South Carolina, to start a new life. When you are young, in love and very naive, it's surprising how many things you have to learn. The subtitle of the book is "the story of a marriage" - but in fact it's the the first year of a marriage we find described

If you thought you had ever been hungry, wet, cold, lonely or frightened - read this one and weep, for the descriptions of everything are well drawn and make you understand how hard it was for this young couple who were still finding out about life, let alone themselves.  But Julie is a strong character, and she will prevail. Hank is a good looking boy, spoilt by his Ma, unable to deal with hardship of any kind, prone to starting arguments. Will he come through this period of time like Julie?  Life throws everything at this couple and then some.  They do some stupid stuff, but ultimately they learn that every day is a new day and can be got through.  We don't now we're born these days!  We have electricity which gives us washing machines, freezers, heating, cooking facilities;  and this book, set at the turn of the 20th century, will show you how hard life was then, and how far we have come.

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