If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
Published August 22nd 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark
5 Stars !!!
Wow. What an incredible read!
As soon as I read the first page, the first line, I knew it was going to be quite an emotional story.
“I struggle to my feet, straighten my back, lift my chin, then he hits me again. This time I fall down and stay down while he counts”
Sadie Blue is picking foolish pride at first when she stands up with her chin high until her good for nothing husband, Ray hits her again. When she falls this time she decides to stay down. Ray finally stops and leaves. Slamming the trailer as he walks into the woods.
Her daddy’s spirit comes to her telling her she needs to get away.
“If I could follow the bastard and kill him for you, I would, sweet girl, but it don’t work like that.”
She tells us her daddy treats her better in death than he did when he was alive…which is putting it mildly considering he once used a night with her in place of the five dollars he didn’t have for a hand in poker. Thank God he won the hand, but she felt he would have paid up if he’d needed too (she was ten).
And now I knew this wasn’t just going to be an emotional read but a heartbreaking one. But also one that I was going to have a very hard time putting down.
Her daddy wasn’t the same after Momma.
“He got nothing from loving mom cept me left behind”
When Sadie tells us about the night her daddy ended up dead ….well it’s heartbreaking too. Sadie Blue has had a hell of a start in life and so far the future isn’t looking much better. She knows she was a fool to fall for Ray, with his sassy grin that made her heart flutter. Her Granny could see his evil…
“You knock them fake stars outta your blind eyes, Sadie Blue, or you gonna lay with the devil and live in hell.”
Gladys Hicks is Sadie’s grandmother. There’s a good reason she’s able to see evil in people like Ray Tupkin right away. Life hasn’t been easy for Gladys. She’s a hard woman, not prone to cuddles and warmth. She figures that Sadie didn’t listen to her and now she’s made her bed and needs to lay in it or find her own way out of it. But all that doesn’t mean she don’t worry. She doesn’t like when her “ruminating” and “rememberings” take her places she don’t wanna go ….or don’t wanna leave.
Marris Jones is a second cousin by marriage and lives down the road. She’s full of sunshine and it irritates the heck out of Gladys.
I LOVE Marris. She’s full of love for everyone, including Gladys. She takes care of everyone, cooking and offering her support. And Marris knows things…things people don’t realize she knows. Marris is really worried about Sadie Blue. She loves her like she’s her own and hates seeing the life she’s living with Roy. She wants to help Sadie but doesn’t know how.
Sadie loves Loretta Lynn. She likes Loretta’s life story. How she grew up in a log cabin in a Kentucky holler and now she has a wonderful life.
“Miss Loretta is rich, but she’s my kinda people. She won’t turn up her nose at a simple life like mine.”
Now, Sadie has been married to Ray Tupkin for fifteen days…..and it’s already beating number three. But she’s making a plan.
“Roy Tupkin’s gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn.”
Everyone wants to get a look at the new teacher that has come. The previous teachers haven’t lasted and no one expects this one too either. The Preacher, Eli Perkins keeps trying to get a decent teacher for the kids and really hopes this one will stay. The teacher, Kate Shaw is described by some of the other folk as a tall, big woman with short hair who wears pants.
Will Kate find her way and decide to stay? Or will the locals drive her out like they did to the other teachers. And what will happen to Sadie Blue?
So many great characters. The author did a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life. I enjoyed their individual stories, though I wanted to know even more about some of them.
As emotional and hard as it was to read at times, a lot of the writing was touching and heartwarming. The kindness and compassion that many characters showed each other. I became very invested in their lives…especially Sadie Blue. I wanted things to turn out well for her and couldn’t read fast enough to find out how it would play out.
***Warning: the abuse was hard to read about. Men cold as ice with liquor, anger, and jealousy running through their veins. Full of hate, but so weak that they would take it out on someone who couldn’t or wouldn’t fight back.
Honest and gritty with a great plot. “If The Creek Don’t Rise” is an excellent novel. The story and fantastic characters will stick with me for a very long time.
Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.
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