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The Truest Pleasure
Synopses & Reviews
Ginny, who marries Tom at the turn of the century after her family has given up on her ever marrying, narrates THE TRUEST PLEASURE--the story of their life together on her father's farm in the western North Carolina mountains. They have a lot in common--love of the land and fathers who fought in the Civil War. Tom's father died in the war, but Ginny's father came back to western North Carolina to hold on to the farm and turn a profit. Ginny's was a childhood of relative security, Tom's one of landlessness. Truth be known--and they both know it--their marriage is mutually beneficial in purely practical terms. Tom wants land to call his own. Ginny knows she can't manage her aging father's farm by herself. But there is also mutual attraction, and indeed their "loving" is deeply gratifying. What keeps getting in the way of it, though, are their obsessions. Tom Powell's obsession is easy to understand. He's a workaholic who hoards time and money. Ginny is obsessed by Pentecostal preaching. That she loses control of her dignity, that she speaks "in tongues," that she is "saved," seem to her a blessing and to Tom a disgrace. It's not until Tom lies unconscious and at the mercy of a disease for which the mountain doctor has no cure that Ginny realizes her truest pleasure is her love for her husband. Like COLD MOUNTAIN, the time and place of THE TRUEST PLEASURE are remote from contemporary American life, but its rendering of the nature of marriage is timeless and universal. Praise for THE TRUEST PLEASURE: "Marvelously vivid imagery. . . . a quietly audacious book."--The New York Times Book Review; "Morgan deeply understands these people and their world, and he writes about them with an authority usually associated with the great novelists of the last century. . . . the book is astonishing."--The Boston Book Review;
Eloquent, wise, and heartbreaking. — Publishers Weekly
"Morgan's simple, eloquent language grounds the story in a tough farm life, his language pulses with poetry." — The Washington Post Book World
Morgan writes "with an authority usually associated with the great novelists of the last centurey...this book is astonishing." — The Boston Book Review
Set on the same ground and in the same time as Cold Mountain, The Truest Pleasure is a transcendent, critically acclaimed love story by one of America's finest writers.
Ginny and Tom have a practical marriage. Tom wants land to call his own, and Ginny knows she can't manage her aging father's farm by herself. They enjoy a mutual attraction that sometimes grows into a deeply gratifying love, but their obsessions always, inevitably, end up in the way.
Tom's obsession is easy to understand. He's a workaholic who hoards time and money. Ginny's is less predictable. That she loses control of her dignity, that she speaks in tongues, that she is "saved," seems to her a blessing and to Tom a disgrace.
It's not until Tom lies at the mercy of a disease for which the mountain doctor has no cure that Ginny realizes her truest pleasure.
A Publishers Weekly Best Book
About the Author
Robert Morgan was raised on his family's farm in the North Carolina mountains. The author of eleven books of poetry and eight books of fiction, including the bestselling novel Gap Creek. Winner of a 2007 Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, he lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches at Cornell University.
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