Morgan, Robert. Gap Creek: The Story of a Marriage. Highbridge Audio, 2021 (reissue). ISBN 979-8200922529 11 hours, 3 minutes. $41.99
Books on CD: I’ve recently gotten the bug. Robert Morgan’s Gap Creek (read by Kate Forbes) was amazing. Southern fiction has always been one of my favorite genres and this one is at the top of my list. Julie’s only seventeen when she and Hank get married, but in life experience, she’s much older. She’s already witnessed her younger brother and father’s deaths. She’s worked the fields like a man, chopping wood, slaughtering animals and plowing and planting fields. Julie Harmon works like no person you have ever known. After her marriage to Hank, they move from their mountain home to Gap Creek to live with old Mr. Pendergast. He gives them a place to live in return for Julie doing the chores and cooking around the house.
Despite their free place to live, Julie and Hank face a year of terrible tragedy: fire, flood, hunger, being tricked and robbed, death, in-law troubles, unemployment, and finding the rhythm of this new relationship. Julie faces every trial with courage and honesty and gets through things by diving into her work. Finding chestnuts, laundry, canning, keeping a garden, cleaning the house, sewing, and slaughtering animals. It doesn’t matter the work, Julie puts herself into it completely and lets the work soothe her fears, sadness, anger, and loneliness. This is a beautiful work of fiction based loosely on the author’s great grandparents who came from the Appalachian Mountains.