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Cold Rock River, 2E [NOOK Book]

Overview

"A compelling story you won't want to miss! Well told and deeply true to its time and place."
-Haywood Smith, author of Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch and The Red Hat Club

Even the best-kept secrets must be revealed...

Seventeen-year-old Adie Jenkins is newly married and newly pregnant, though not necessarily in that order. Unready for fatherhood, her skirt-chasing husband isn't much help. But in this stunning ...

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Cold Rock River, 2E

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Overview

"A compelling story you won't want to miss! Well told and deeply true to its time and place."
-Haywood Smith, author of Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch and The Red Hat Club

Even the best-kept secrets must be revealed...

Seventeen-year-old Adie Jenkins is newly married and newly pregnant, though not necessarily in that order. Unready for fatherhood, her skirt-chasing husband isn't much help. But in this stunning tale that redefines intimacy, love, and family, Adie discovers hope where she least expects it: from her sweet neighbor Murphy, from the world-wise midwife Willa Mae, and in the worn pages of the diary of a slave girl-a girl who is much closer to Adie than she thinks.

Praise for Cold Rock River
"An intricate novel about the mysterious ways we are all connected in the human endeavors of truth, love, longing, and loss."
-Patti Callahan Henry, bestselling author of When Light Breaks
"Warm, fresh, funny-the characters leap off the page! Miles is a fascinating new voice in Southern fiction. Readers will rejoice."
-Karin Gillespie, author of Bet Your Bottom Dollar
"Jackie Lee Miles is a wise and perceptive writer with a keen understanding of human frailties."
-Julie Cannon, author of Truelove and Homegrown Tomatoes

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Editorial Reviews

A Journey of Books
Full of emotion and angst - perfect for those times when you want a deeper story.
— Cinnamon
Books 4 Moms
An encouraging book, inspirational, and beautiful! Definitely a must read.
— Christine
Books For Moms
An encouraging book, inspirational, and beautiful! Definitely a must read.
— Christine
History Undressed
Cold Rock River is an emotionally gripping tale that will reach and grab you from line one... This was one of those books that had me hating certain characters, shouting out, laughing, crying.
— Eliza
Peeking Between the Pages
This is a great story of family, friendships, love, loss and grief along with an innocence that really endeared the book to me.
— Darlene
Stiletto Story Time
A brave book... it always stays true to the story, even at the risk of plunging it's readers into some of life's most horrific events.
— Courtney
The Book Chick
Miles has a gift for getting inside a character's head, and this book was a tribute to triumph over adversity.
— Jonita
Thoughts from an Evil Overlord
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes inspirational, and always true to the characters, Cold Rock Riveris a story of unusual friendships and hope within the realities of life.
— Elizabeth
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402256639
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 221,381
  • File size: 481 KB

Meet the Author

Jackie Lee Miles
Jackie Lee Miles lives in Georgia with her husband, where she is a featured speaker at book clubs, schools, and writer's workshops. The author of three novels, Roseflower Creek was her first, published to critical acclaim. When not writing, Ms. Miles tours with the Dixie Darlins, four nationally published book-writing belles.
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Read an Excerpt

I was five that spring Annie choked on a jelly bean. She was twenty months old; she wasn't supposed to have any. Mama made that quite clear. Sadly, I wasn't a child that minded well, so I gave Annie one anyway. I figured she ought to taste how good they were. I figured wrong.

Annie choked bad on that jelly bean, and her face turned blue. And Mama wasn't home. She'd gone to Calhoun to sell her prized jams; sold twelve jars of her double-lemon marmalade. Imagine that; there's Mama, waving folks over to get a sample of her jam-selling her heart out-and all the while Annie's choking to death.

My pa slapped Annie on her back; smacked her hard with the side of his hand, right between her shoulder blades. Pa had hands the size of skillets. He smacked her twice, but it didn't do any good-might of made it worse. Annie stopped making those sucking sounds like she did when her face turned colors, and her body went limp and her pretty blue eyes just rolled up and disappeared right inside her cute little head.

My older sisters, Rebecca and Clarissa-twin girls Mama had two years before she had me-got on their knees and prayed like preachers. They asked God not to take Annie from us. I didn't get on my knees. I watched Pa beat on Annie instead. It was more interesting. I didn't have anything against praying, mind you. We did it all the time in Sunday school and I knew most of the prayers they taught by heart, except for The Lord's Prayer, and I was working on that. "She can't die," I said. "She's in our family." It made perfect sense to me at the time.

"Oh hush, you ninny," Rebecca said. "You don't know nothing."

"Help us pray, Adie," Clarissa said.

I wasn't worried. I knew Annie couldn't die. Bad things like that only happened to strangers. The proof arrived daily in the newspaper Pa buried his face in. Mama had hers in the Bible or a cookbook, the hands on the clock determining which one. While she stirred the pot and touted miracles, he turned the pages and spouted mayhem. "She can't die," I shouted, stomping my feet, trying to get their attention.

Rebecca and Clarissa kept praying, and Pa kept pounding-his eyes big as mixing bowls. I started wailing. Pa dangled Annie upside down by her feet and ran with her like that all the way next door to Miz Patterson's. She wasn't home. She'd gone to Clarkston to see her grandbabies. She went every Friday; stayed the whole day-took me with her sometimes. She and her daughter Delores would sit on the front porch and sip iced tea and rock themselves dizzy while they watched Delores's kids-mostly boys-wrestle on the dirt ground that used to have grass. I wanted to tell Pa, but he ran out the door before I had a chance to. I chased after him but couldn't catch up; he was running two-forty.

"Call an ambulance, Rebecca!" he shouted. Annie was flopping like a rag doll washed one time too many.

"Miz Patterson!" Pa's voice sounded like the low keys on a piano when he talked and when he bellowed it got deep as a pipe organ that had a bad cold. Miz Patterson was as close as we ever came to a neighborhood nurse. Everybody went to her house when they needed doctoring. There was a path to her door on account of it. She didn't charge anything for her kindness. People gave her what they could; a cup of sugar, a few eggs, maybe a pound cake made with real butter. Bernice Harper gave her a banana crème pie when her son Willie fell over the handle bars of his bike and nearly bit his tongue off. After that, whenever I thought about Miz Patterson, that's what was on my mind. So, my pa's running over to her place, Annie's choking, and I'm thinking about that creamy slice of pie she gave me.

Pa ran back with Annie still hanging upside down. His face looked like a bear had scared him and his eyes agreed. At that tender age, I didn't know there was a word for that look-my father was terrified. It certainly got my mind off that pie. Rebecca was on the big black phone with the operator trying to explain where Route 3, Box 949 was.

"Well, it's in Cold Rock, but it's not on a street, ma'am," she said. "It's on a route! Ain't you ever hear of a route? Who hired you anyway?" Rebecca yelled. "Our baby Annie's dying. Get us a ambulance here, you ninny!"

Pa heard it all and realized help was not coming anytime soon. The look on his face got worse. His eyes were crazed as a horse that's been spooked by a snake. It scared me plenty. I dropped to my knees. "Pleasegodpleasegodpleasegodpleasegod..." I chanted, staring at Annie draped over Pa's arm. She was limp as a stuffed toy that had lost all its filling.

Pa stuck his thumb backwards down Annie's throat. I remember being comforted by the fact it wasn't me. Pa's big thumb stuck backwards down Annie's throat looked like a terrible way to die. But what do you know? That jelly bean popped right up out of her mouth! It spewed out with a bunch of vomit and splattered all over Mama's clean linoleum floor. Annie started coughing real hard and crying. Pa said, "Sssshhhhh, you're okay, baby. S'gonna be alright, now. Daddy's got ya." He hugged her to his chest and patted her softly on the back-like she was a China doll and would break-which I thought was very strange, seeing as he nearly pounded her to death when she was choking. Pa bent his head forward and buried his nose in her blonde curls. His shoulder muscles started dancing with each other.

"Pa's crying," Rebecca whispered.

"Don't cry, Pa!" Clarissa said and ran over and wrapped herself around one of his legs. He reached down with his free hand and rubbed her head, but his shoulders never stopped moving. That started Clarissa wailing, which got me upset, seeing as she was the one I favored. I ran over and hugged her.

Annie struggled to get free from Pa's arms. He eased her down, then wiped his face with the big kerchief he always kept in his back pocket. Clarissa stepped back and looked up at him while Annie toddled about. Pa was taller than a cornstalk with legs as skinny as stilts. He reached down and dried Clarissa's eyes. She was hiccupping and sucking her breath in and out. I rubbed her backside while Pa steadied Annie on her feet.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    EXCELLENT!!

    From the first page you know you can't put the book down! I found myself laughing out loud and other times I was reaching for a tissue. You'll never forget the characters in this novel! Cold Rock River is the remarkable journey of two young brides born a century apart. Adie reads the journal of a slave girl, Tempe. The journal was so gripping because it chronicled the horrible things that happened to Tempe. I love this author's heartwarming work!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2010

    Touching Southern Fiction

    Set in the early years of the Vietnam War,Jackie Lee Miles' Cold Rock River is the story of Adie, seventeen years old, and quickly married after becoming pregnant. Befriended by her neighbor Murphy and midwife Willa Mae, Adie attempts to make a life for herself and baby Grace Annie in Hog Gap, GA, while her husband Buck continues with his lover-boy life. Unlike those around her contented with their lives, Adie wants more for herself, and definitely for her daughter. Adie finds comfort and sisterhood in the journal of Tempe, a slave ancestor of Willa Mae, whose story of her life and motherhood during the Civil War draw Adie into new ways of thinking about her Southern heritage.
    Like many Southern writers, Ms. Miles uses vivid descriptions to bring her landscape to life: In the distance, Cold Rock Mountain rested like a fat king on his throne. The sides sparkled like jewels as the sun bounced off chunks of granite embedded along the edges., as well as dialogue thick with regional sayings and accents. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes inspirational, and always true to the characters, Cold Rock River is a story of unusual friendships and hope within the realities of life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a great story

    This was a heartbreaking tale at times, neither of the women in this book had it easy. First there is Adie Jenkins, who gets pregnant and marries at 17. But her husband does not leave his wild ways and she is pretty much left to fend for herself most of the time. But she find friendship in her neighbours and one of them, Willa Mae reads from a book. Another heartbreaking tale about a young slave girl who lost her children.

    The books tells much of Adie's family history and how things happened like they did. Like the loss of her little sister that broke the family in half. Her sisters exploits, and how her other sister started to eat, and eat. And of course her own mistake. But Adie was strong, she would not give up, not even when it looked dark at one time and my heart was in my throat because of he injustice she suffered. But friends, family and that diary helped her along, and she never gave up. The road to happiness is not an easy one.

    Then there is the diary, I did have problems at first, because of the way it looked, but I got used to it. Of course then there was the other problem of understanding, I had this sometimes in the book too cos of their southern accent.. But I got used to it, I have obviously spent too little time in the south. To the diary, a woman called Tempe is telling her life story. How she grew up on a plantation, how she got used and pushed around, how the war came, and ended and how she set out on a long journey. She had it bad at times, and she still had hope. It was a fascinating story, and it took turns I did not see coming. And at other times I was shaken by the cruelty of their masters.

    I enjoyed the friendship she formed with Willa Mae, this very old midwife who helps her along, and her next door neighbour Murphy who helps her when she needs it. But he also lets her be independent.

    Friendship and hope was the best part of this book because it showed the way. The agony of not knowing what was coming next at a certain time in the book made me want to stop reading, but at the same time read on to find out, and wish for the best.

    I liked how she wove two stories together, about two entirely different women, but who at the same time were very much alike.

    A tale of the south in the 60's, friendship, loss, love, finding your own way, and a look back at how slaves were treated 100 years before. A different world.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    I loved this book.

    I just finished this book and wish the story could go on and on. Getting to know the characters made me feel as if I knew them. It is the story of a young girl from Alabama that crosses paths with an older woman who has slavery in her family background. The writing interweaves two time periods to explain why people do the things they do. There are secrets, even a bit of mystery to figure out. The characters are likeable, even the ones who are rascals; once you find out why they are that way it makes you understand them better.
    Jackie Lee Miles is a great story teller. I will be looking for more of her writings. In the meantime, this will be a story to be reread.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 13, 2011

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    Posted October 11, 2014

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    Posted September 2, 2011

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