I’m excited to share my review of “If the Creek Don’t Rise” by Leah Weiss, as part of the official blog tour promoting the release of the book.
If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
“Weiss’ debut novel reveals the best and worst of human nature… The author’s masterful use of language, including dialect unique to the area, builds another layer of connection between these characters while she develops a greater sense of inner isolation and distance from those outside the community. Weiss’ novel is a great suggestion for fans of the Big Stone Gap books, by Adriana Trigiani, and Mitford series, by Jan Karon.” – Booklist, STARRED review
He’s gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn.
Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That’s long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.
Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out. When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline…if she can just figure out how to use it.
This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.
Every book promises to transport the reader to another place. Some deliver more than others.
Reading “If the Creek Don’t Rise” by Leah Weiss was truly a step back, not only to a different time — 1970 — but also to one of the most economically depressed regions of the U.S., the Appalachian Mountains. Everything from the dialogue to the setting descriptions make the story of Baines Creek, N.C., come alive.
The narrative flows from one vivid character to the next — from pregnant, battered young bride Sadie to fish-out-of-water teacher Kate Shaw. These characters, even the slimy ones like wifebeater Ray Tupkin, all carry heartbreaking secrets that influence their ways of living and the decisions they make. I really enjoyed the way Weiss weaves these characters’ stories into a striking tapestry of despair and hope amid devastating poverty.
I was touched by the compassion of Preacher Eli Perkins and especially Kate, who encourages Sadie to find her “special life.” Sadie doesn’t see anything special about herself, yet I could see it plain as day. I found myself rooting for her, wanting her to succeed in spite of her circumstances. That’s how I know I’ve found a story worth reading and sharing with others.
Certain books require a soundtrack, especially when I’m reading at the gym! Most of my reading of this book was set to the old-timey strains of Shovels n Rope and the Roots Rising playlist on Spotify.
Some of the best books I’ve read this year have been debut novels. “If the Creek Don’t Rise” was no exception.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
About the author
Leah Weiss is a Southern writer and novelist born in North Carolina and raised in the foothills of Virginia. Her debut novel, If the Creek Don’t Rise, will be released in August of 2017. Her short stories have been published in The Simple Life magazine, Every Day Fiction and Deep South Magazine. She retired in 2015 from a 24-year career as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. She now pursues writing full time.