If The Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was getting lots of buzz and excitement, and I was really hoping for this to be an amazing mark, but sadly it missed the mark by a lot. Not only did I not connect or root for any of the characters, but I found it extremely difficult to understand the dialect and gets accustomed to the dialogue that this author display.
Trigger warnings: abuse
We follow Sadie, a 17 year old pregnant women, who seems to be bright soul in this small Appalachian village, that's stricken with poverty and isolated from the rest of the world. Backwards, we could call it. Then one person, an Eastern teacher comes out and pulls the balance of this community off center. This book is supposed to give us a deep dive into the demons and struggles of living in North Carolina Appalachia as an uneducated, poor white women.
Let me tell you, this is an extremely difficult read. There were many difficult scenes that took me a little while to process before I could make full sense of them, so I would not reccomend using this as a beach read, even though it will be published in the summertime and the cover is deceptive bright.
If the Creek Don't Rise sometimes felt like riding choppy waves, because of all of the POV changes. Usually, I am all for this type of alternation, but in this specific instance I felt like it didn't quite work. My problem with it was, that not only do we often switch POVs(and get introduced to brand new characters in the story which I didn't understand how they were connected) but also we move back and forth in time, which made it even more hard to keep track off.
My one great thing was the character of Sadie. I really was rooted for her and felt like I could deeply connect to her as a beautiful human, and being the central one in the story it made the story sparkle a little bit more, and because of this one person that every thread and strand keeps on coming back too, I found this book enjoyable enough to bear to finish it.
I had trouble grasping the setting of 1970s in North Carolina, maybe because I didn't feel distinct of different culture that could have been portrayed more directly, I feel like. I've seen other reviewers praise this part of Weiss writing, but I honestly thought that she work on this element in her debut novel.
The ending wasn't particularly special, because it was predictable, but I thought that it was a solid resolution to this. The author doesn't leave us hanging in the middle of an event, she wraps it up quite neatly, which I could objectively appreciate.
**Thanks you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for providing me an arc for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
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