The Road from Gap Creek: A Novel

The Road from Gap Creek: A Novel

3.8 11
by Robert Morgan
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. (Aug.)
Reviews

“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

“In The Road From Gap Creek [Morgan] 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

“Morgan pens an eloquent story of stoicism and pain, endurance and courage, ending as all life will, with death and birth. A moving, lyrical saga from a time so distant, yet so near.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Robert Morgan returns to us with a much-awaited sequel to Gap Creek and the fate of the next generation of its unforgettable characters, now facing the tolls of World War II and the changing of their pocket of America. Oprah adored the original, and in this further telling in their distinctive voices, you will see why.” —Ivan Doig, author of The Bartender's Tale

“This novel shines with a subtle brilliance . . . Morgan has produced another stellar novel.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Robert Morgan remains the consummate storyteller . . . 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

From the Publisher
“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

“In The Road From Gap Creek [Morgan] 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

“Morgan pens an eloquent story of stoicism and pain, endurance and courage, ending as all life will, with death and birth. A moving, lyrical saga from a time so distant, yet so near.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Robert Morgan returns to us with a much-awaited sequel to Gap Creek and the fate of the next generation of its unforgettable characters, now facing the tolls of World War II and the changing of their pocket of America. Oprah adored the original, and in this further telling in their distinctive voices, you will see why.” —Ivan Doig, author of The Bartender's Tale

“This novel shines with a subtle brilliance . . . Morgan has produced another stellar novel.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Robert Morgan remains the consummate storyteller . . . 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

Library Journal
09/15/2013
Following the best-selling Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club Selection that traces the early marriage of Julie and Hank Richards, Morgan writes a sequel that continues the story of the couple and their four children. Through daughter Annie's narrative, we learn of the effects of war as well as the far-reaching ramifications of the Great Depression. The novel begins with the death of son Troy during World War II and flows through time to describe the family's experiences in the Appalachian South. The seemingly insignificant events, such as the mad dog that attempts to attack Annie or the presence of the short-tempered Albert, make the story and characters real to the readers, and key climactic moments also contribute to the novel's authenticity. While the language is effortless, Morgan's occasional poeticism is refreshing: "I reckon a woman knows she's in love when she keeps loving a man she don't want to love." VERDICT Similar to Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons, this title will appeal to lovers of Southern and Appalachian fiction.—Ashanti White, Yelm, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Morgan (Brave Enemies, 2003, etc.) returns to western North Carolina and the Richards family saga. Deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the Green River, under Mt. Cicero, Hank and Julie Richards move their family from Gap Creek to a small, hardscrabble farm. There, they endure the Great Depression and World War II, stoically facing death and disease, hope and triumph. It's Annie, their younger daughter, who narrates, harking back to the family's trek from Gap Creek to Green River, road "froze as stiff as chalk," and ending her story as a grown woman birthing a daughter, realizing "having your own baby makes you feel connected...taking part in the future and with the people that come before you." Recreating the rural mountain South not yet 100-years past, Annie tells of Old Pat, a purebred German shepherd given to her brother, Troy, as payment for summer work. She offers stories of Muir and Moody Powell, twins from a nearby farm, one ambitious to preach, the other preferring to gamble and run moonshine. She remembers tramps and hobos, Julie offering at least fresh milk and cornbread even if cupboards were bare. The novel begins in 1943 with Troy's death, a casualty in a bomber crash in England. Julie's shattered, "sealed up her thoughts and grief inside her and she wouldn't let any of us touch it." But even the dead live in the soulful narrative. Troy, gentle, artistic, is home on leave and must put down Old Pat after she's horribly maimed by a firecracker. A tortured misfit stands in church to claim Troy's death is God's retribution, and the family sits silently. A troubled veteran, the new husband of Troy's former fiancee, drags her away from Troy's post-war burial at gunpoint. Morgan pens an eloquent story of stoicism and pain, endurance and courage, ending as all life will, with death and birth. A moving, lyrical saga from a time so distant, yet so near.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616203429
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
54,232
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

author of "Winter’s Bone" Daniel Woodrell

“In The Road From Gap Creek [Morgan] delivers another powerhouse novel of his people, with their virtues and failings, wins and losses, loves and sorrows.”

author of "The Ragged Way People Fall Out of Love" Elizabeth Cox

“Robert Morgan remains the consummate storyteller . . . 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.”

author of "The Bartender’s Tale" Ivan Doig

“Robert Morgan returns to us with a much-awaited sequel to Gap Creek and the fate of the next generation of its unforgettable characters, now facing the tolls of World War II and the changing of their pocket of America. Oprah adored the original, and in this further telling in their distinctive voices, you will see why.”

Meet the Author

ROBERT MORGAN is the author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, most notably his novel Gap Creek and his biography of Daniel Boone, both of which were national bestsellers. A professor at Cornell University since 1971 and visiting writer-in-residence at half a dozen universities, his awards include Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2010. Find him online at www.robert-morgan.com.

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The Road from Gap Creek: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Gap was very good. This was a very poor sequel; a lot of repeat storyline. I feel it was a waste of almost $15.00 .....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great book reminds me of my younger life at Green river
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. It was not Gap Creek, but it kept me interesred with the historical details. Robert Morgan is a supreme storyteller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because i loved Gap Creek, one of my all time favorire books. This book does not even compare. It has no plot and skips around so much that I could not finish it. It was impossible to keep up with the characters. Morgan just did not come through on this book. I am an avid reader and this book was such a disappointment I just had to post this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
This book centered on an interesting concept, but the writing fell flat.  The narrator, Annie, tells a simple, but moving story of life in the North Carolina mountains during World War II and the Great Depression.  The reader follows Annie and her family and friends through decades of hard times and their struggles to maintain an existence.  Annie starts the tale as a young girl living in a simple cabin but the story quickly ends when Annie is around 30.  Annie returns many times to certain events and the reader begins to think she is a feeble old woman who cannot remember what part of the story she has already told.  The jumping back and forth from the different times did not work well.  Many events focused on a younger brother, Troy, and his dog, Old Pat.  Morgan attempted to write the language as the people, but the nuances were not captured.  As usual, I like to learn something new, which I did.  I learned about the “dog days of summer”.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dgregoryburns More than 1 year ago
“The Road from Gap Creek” is the sequel to Robert Morgan’s best selling novel, “Gap Creek,” which was published in the late 90’s. “The Road From Gap Creek” continues the story.  The book begins in 1943 with the sad news of the wartime death of one of  Annie Richard’s two brothers, Troy.  After this news the story, through Annie, goes back to an earlier time with the family and begins Annie’s telling of her nd her family’s lives up until troy’s death. While the sequel is not as good as the original, it almost is and it is well worth the time.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago