I still have a few books waiting to be read and although I have ample time on my hands, I have only accumulated enough to finish Robert Morgan’s Gap Creek. I have to be honest, I was intrigued with the book because it has that Oprah’s Book Club logo printed on its cover. Although I am not a big fan of hers since I have not seen a lot of her show, I find that any book might be worth reading if it’s on a notable person’s book club (at least for me :p). I have no regrets, however, because I have taken a liking lately to realism in any medium and Gap Creek did not falter at all in its dose of reality.
I have not read other stories about marriages so I cannot say Gap Creek is different from others because blah…What I can say though is its verisimilitude is so vividly painted that one could also heave cries of pain when the main character, Julie, does so. It takes talent to have a perfect picture painted in someone else’s mind but it takes greater talent to move a heart as well. In the beginning of the story, Julie, although already a victim of life’s strains, was somehow complacent with running her family that recently lost a father. Apparently she was too absorbed with hard work (note the word hard) even at a young age of seventeen that she hardly entertained thoughts of falling in love. Along came Hank and everything flourished into a consequence of love at first sight. Because it’s realistic, this story has none of those usual promises of love at first sight. So Julie and Hank, equipped with nothing save a few belongings, got married and moved to this old house owned by a stubborn somewhat smutty old man and here they discovered that marriage was anything but easy. They had to put up with hunger, deaths, a small house fire, a flash flood, a snappy mother-in-law (for Julie), and most of all, with each other; but at the end of the day, they had to do with what they got and be thankful for it. It was nice that although Hank’s intractability somewhat debilitated their relationship, there were inevitable circumstances that made them stronger and able to move ahead.
There were a couple of lines in the story that I find rather notable and I would like to end this post by sharing a few. Julie is the narrator so it’s on a first person point-of-view.
“What a wonderful thing music is, I thought. I had forgot how good music is in a public place. It was just a little organ, but it gathered and pushed the air in the sweetest breath…The organ music was living breath. And when the song leader started to sing and we joined in, I seen I had forgot how voices joined together. One voice may be beautiful, and some voices not so beautiful by themselves. But when they all joined in the church it was something different.”
On giving birth, Julie had this to say:
“This is my work, I thought. This is the work only I can do. This is work meant for me from the beginning of time. And this is work leading me in an endless chain of people all the way to the end of time.”
And my favorite…
“Nothing ever worked out that perfect in this world. And if I wanted it too bad it would never happen. The world was made so people never got what they wanted most. Or maybe they wanted most what they couldn’t never get.”