- 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
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,752,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Contrary Creek: a novel Paperback – May 15, 2010
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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 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!