- Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: Wheatmark (May 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1604943831
- ISBN-13: 978-1604943832
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,029,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Contrary Creek: a novel Paperback – May 15, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The sensory (and sensual) descriptions are superbly executed by the authors, but after the middle of the book, the story takes a weird turn which is confusing. The story transforms into a cross between Dark Shadows and a murder mystery, with occult and criminal elements that detract from the original coming of age theme. High school students being on a first name basis with their teachers in the 1950s, and parents allowing their 16 year old son to have his girlfriend sleep over, did not seem very believable to me. I also felt that, despite the smorgasbord of possibilities, most of the characters were flat, and lacked development. The author could have developed background on Wanda Tucker, for instance, and made her more than just a sex object (she would have made a better heroine in my opinion...), and could have revealed her motivations and the dark secrets of her past. Mellie is also a very one-dimensional character, with her only focus being on a torrid sexual relationship; and likewise, Danny's attraction to her seems one-dimensional as well. The ending was a disappointment, not only because of the circumstances of the shooting, but because Danny showed no signs of growth or evolution--he's the same young buck he was in the beginning of the book.Read more ›
The characters in this compelling landscape are fresh, yet familiar. They bristle with emotion and humor as they puzzle through challenges that are funny, sexy and finally, heartbreaking. A teacher who casts spells. A headmaster who bans books. A young girl who grew into a woman just in time.
The twin coming-of-age stories of young Danny Cloud and his sister B.J. are authentic enough to pull the reader back into those painful and confusing times when clueless adults pretended to have all the answers. But these kids are shaped by a world most of us will never know, and their actions show it. The story is not simply about kids growing up. It is also about overcoming barriers that rise -- like the creek -- in response to unseen forces and threaten to carry away what matters most.
You won't forget these people or the robust culture where they did their best to figure out what the hell life is all about.
The Walkers pack this story with action and intrigue as the school year begins with a motley collection of teachers and a bigoted principal. But at bottom the book is about love. Danny's devoted to his family, but it's his newfound love for his childhood friend Mellie that drives the plot and leads to its inevitable and wrenching climax. The characters stayed with me long after I closed the book. I suspect I won't forget them anytime soon. Bravo, Tom and Mary.
It was fun to get to know some of the people in the nearby town Faraway and see how the Cloud family members fit into that small community. I learned how living in the back country has its joys and challenges and how lives are shaped by them.
I enjoyed seeing how the sometimes complicated events of the story helped Danny and B.J. develop into responsible young adults.
As with any good story, I was disappointed when it came to an end.
The authors had many threads of action running at the same time, and as each character resurfaced I felt a warm gladness that I was about to find out more.
The language they used was so appropriate to who they were, whether they were stuffy, moralistic faculty members or excited youngsters enjoying new adventures. There are some unusual personalities playing important roles, one being a self proclaimed witch influencing the tender beliefs of her naive students.
Watching the young people discover the joys and pains of loving was compelling, and I hurt with them or savored their successes.
The apparently simple life of ranching proved to be anything but. It was fraught with difficult negotiating with insensitive but powerful individuals who reveled in inflicting laws seemingly designed to prevent families from making an honest living. Those with authority used it against "the good guys," and the reader felt the frustrations and helplessness that sometimes led to giving up.
Scattered throughout were situations demonstrating the dangers of judgementalness, and vividly clear consequences of the harm that can result.
When I finished I felt incredibly sad it was over. I'd come to know the people so well that I missed them tremendously. Contrary Creek may be fiction, but not in this reader's mind!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the first half of the story but it went downhill from there wandering aimlessly through dialogue that did nothing to move the weak plot forward.Published on May 31, 2014 by Elizabeth Darling
This book has amazing characters and a wonderful story line. I finished reading Contrary Creek last night and felt so many emotions along the way. Read morePublished on December 8, 2012 by Sally
This reminded me of my childhood growing up on a farm. There are two authors (brother and sister) to the story which I think is why the two main characters are so well-written. Read morePublished on October 18, 2012 by Coral Russell
If you have an interest in real cowboys, quirky characters, horses, and kids growing up on a ranch, this is the book for you. Read morePublished on December 20, 2010 by Ethel Lee-Miller
Contrary Creek is a vivid coming of age story set in the rough mountain terrain of central Arizona. It's a little slow getting started but about half way through it picks up steam... Read morePublished on August 5, 2010 by Sam Negri
This is an excellent book about a remote small town and the interaction of people in such a town. It moves with the speed and interest that many books do not. Read morePublished on July 25, 2010 by Paul Boettcher