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The Road from Gap Creekby Robert Morgan
Synopses & Reviews
"This is a story I seem to remember like it was yesterday . . . The day we moved to Green River, the road from Gap Creek was froze stiff as chalk. I wasn't even five, but I remember that morning was cold. We got up in the dark and Papa built a big fire in the fireplace, burning up the things we didn't need. All the stuff we had would fit in that one wagon, or it had to be left behind. I thought Velmer and my older sister, Effie, and me was going to ride on the wagon too, but Papa said there wasn't no room. We'd have to walk."
Strong-willed Annie Richards Powell, a preacher's wife raised by hardscrabble dirt farmers, begins her story on the worst day in her family's life: a day that arrived years after her family's trip--by wagon and on foot--from Gap Creek, South Carolina, to Green River, North Carolina, and into the home where she would grow up with her siblings, Effie, Velmer, and, finally, Troy, the baby and golden boy. A resilient and clear-eyed narrator, she lets us watch as one-by-one the Richards children create their own histories, which include both triumphs and terrible losses in the face of the Great Depression and then World War II and its aftermath.
Through the Richards family, Morgan explores modern American history as it played out in the Blue Ridge Mountains--a region cut off from mainstream life until World War II took those mountain boys to fight in far-off lands and changed their world forever. The rough-hewn beauty of the land and its people are visible on every page of The Road from Gap Creek--a tribute to an ordinary family persevering through extraordinary times. This is Robert Morgan at his finest.
The saga of the Richards family began in Robert Morgan's 1999 novel Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club Selection that attracted hundreds of thousands of readers to its beguiling tale of the first year and a half of Annie's parents' marriage at the turn of the twentieth century. Now, in a masterful weaving of fact and fiction, Morgan introduces a new generation looking ahead to the uncertainties of the future, the struggle to define oneself, and the rediscovery of enduring love.
"Robert Morgan returns to his bestselling Gap Creek characters, the Richards family, as well as the Peace family from his earlier Appalachian story, The Truest Pleasure. Annie, the daughter of Gap Creek's Julie and Hank, is married to Muir Peace, but her younger brother Troy and his dog, Old Pat, are closest to her affections. In Morgan's world, nothing loved the way Troy and Old Pat are loved can escape tragedy for long, but the pair possesses an intelligence and curiosity that captivate; art, ambition and healing enter the Richards house through their bond. While Troy's work produces admiration and opportunity, Muir's work often leads to humiliation; he lays the foundation for an ill-fated stone church on a mountaintop that mirrors his dream of becoming a preacher. As in Gap Creek, Morgan reserves his harshest blows for Julie; after her brutal early years she has forced some beauty and satisfaction into her home, but more bitter loss is in store for her. Annie is granted a kinder fate; as she agrees to marry Muir, she says: 'I saw how hard it would be, and I didn't care,' and in the end, Annie's own road grows smoother." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
One of America's most acclaimed writers returns to the land on which he has staked a literary claim to paint an indelible portrait of a family in a time of unprecedented change. In a compelling weaving of fact and fiction, Robert Morgan introduces a family's captivating story, set during World War II and the Great Depression. Driven by the uncertainties of the future, the family struggles to define itself against the vivid Appalachian landscape. The Road from Gap Creek explores modern American history through the lives of an ordinary family persevering through extraordinary times.
One of America's most acclaimed writers returns to the land on which he has staked his literary claim to paint the indelible portrait of a family in a time of unprecedented change.
"Once again, Robert Morgan's true landscape is, as with all great writers, the peaks and valleys, the long and winding paths, of the human heart. What a writer, and what a novel!" --Ron Rash, author of Nothing Gold Can Stay
"Though Morgan operates from a place, a place he knows as intimately as one knows the history of one's own family, he is not about providing a limited picture of a limited vista, but doing what all the great writers do--looking into the hearts of their characters and finding the real. And he has the talent and vast empathy required to bring back the real and deliver it to us as wonderful fiction . . . In The Road from Gap Creek, he delivers another powerhouse novel of his people, with their virtues and failings, wins and losses, loves and sorrows." --Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone and The Maid's Version
"Robert Morgan remains the consummate storyteller. He is one of the best I've ever seen at making time move the way memory moves, weaving a sense of history, and offering characters so compelling that a kinship of the heart is felt. The characters linger in the mind, like a melody you can't and don't want to forget. This book must be read for its broad, sagacious wit as well as for its power to convince us of extraordinary courage seen in ordinary life." --Elizabeth Cox, author of The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love
"Robert Morgan returns to the setting of his widely acclaimed novel Gap Creek, the rugged mountains of Appalachia, where the next generation of its unforgettable characters face the tolls of World War II and the changing of their pocket of America. Oprah adored the original, and in this further telling--propelled by masterful storytelling--you will discover why." --Ivan Doig, author of The Bartender's Tale
About the Author
With prose that critics have termed “pitch perfect,” “lyrical,” and “delicately textured” and that the New York Times Book Review compared to Cormac McCarthy’s, ROBERT MORGAN has created a body of work that includes, in addition to fiction, both poetry and biography. A native of North Carolina, he currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where he is Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University. He is the recipient of grants from the NEA as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations.
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