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If the Creek Don't Rise
Cover of If the Creek Don't Rise
If the Creek Don't Rise
A Novel
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"[A] striking debut..." — BUSTLE

"...masterful use of language....Weiss' novel is a great suggestion for fans of the Big Stone Gap books, by Adriana Trigiani, and Mitford series, by Jan Karon."—Booklist, STARRED Review

He's gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn

Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That's long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.

Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out. When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline...if she can just figure out how to use it.

This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, IF THE CREEK DON'T RISE is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

"[A] striking debut..." — BUSTLE

"...masterful use of language....Weiss' novel is a great suggestion for fans of the Big Stone Gap books, by Adriana Trigiani, and Mitford series, by Jan Karon."—Booklist, STARRED Review

He's gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn

Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That's long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.

Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out. When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline...if she can just figure out how to use it.

This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, IF THE CREEK DON'T RISE is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

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About the Author-
  • Leah Weiss is a Southern writer born in North Carolina and raised in the foothills of Virginia. Her debut novel IF THE CREEK DON'T RISE will be released in August of 2017. Her short stories have been published in The Simple Life magazine, Every Day Fiction and Deep South Magazine. She retired in 2015 from a 24-year career as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. She now pursues writing full time and enjoys speaking to book clubs. You can contact her on her website leahweiss.com 
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 5, 2017
    In this tender but powerful debut, Weiss paints both the bright and the dark in the lives of her fictional Appalachian community’s denizens. It is the fall of 1970 in Baines Creek, N.C., where pregnant teen Sadie Blue is newly married to her unborn child’s father, Rory Tupkin, a bully doesn’t hesitate to beat her. Her grandmother, Gladys Hicks, once had to deal with her own abusive husband and feels that it is up to Sadie to do the same. Marris Jones is a good-hearted woman who wants to help Sadie, as does Kate Shaw, the strong-willed teacher new to the mountain, and Birdie Rocas, the witchy woman. Each of these women bring some good to Sadie’s life and to others in the community. Others, like Rory and the preacher’s sister, Prudence Perkins, only bring venom and pain to those around them. All of these and more get a chapter or two to spin their own tales, while Sadie’s story slips in and out, highlighting Weiss’s considerable characterization skills. Agent: Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher and Co.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2017
    Born and raised in Baines Creek, high in the thin air of the Appalachian Mountains, Sadie Blue has been beaten by her husband, Roy Tupkin, for the last time.She's been married only 15 days, but that's long enough to realize that Roy is hardly the charmer she thought he was and that she and the baby she has on the way deserve far better than the likes of him. While Sadie carefully considers how to free herself from Roy, a new teacher arrives in town, called by Preacher Eli Perkins. Dismissed from her previous post at a posh girls' boarding school in North Carolina, Kate Shaw is drawn to the isolation and beauty Baines Creek offers in abundance, which is lucky given the small community's staggering impoverishment, despite a thriving moonshine trade. Over 6 feet tall, with severely cropped graying hair, 51-year-old Kate is not at all what Baines Creek expected, but within days she's gathered a cohort of students who thrive under her nurturing care and befriended Sadie, who yearns to learn how to read; Eli, who finds himself drawn to Kate's intellect despite her agnosticism; and Birdie, a woman whose understanding of nature protects Kate from local ne'er-do-wells. Yet the women's friendship cannot stop Roy from battering Sadie, and one day he goes too far, endangering the baby. Meanwhile, Darlene, a young woman who danced at the local strip club, has gone missing, and she seems to have had ties to Roy and Sadie. In this, her debut novel, Weiss catches and weaves together compelling voices from the haunted and haunting interstices of America. Each chapter is told from a different character's perspective, and they all add new pieces to the puzzle of Roy's dark soul, Sadie's bittersweet hope, and Darlene's mysterious disappearance. Part gothic, part romance, part heartbreaking Loretta Lynn ballad--Weiss' tale is a beguiling, compelling read.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2017

    DEBUT The 1970s Appalachia of Weiss's brilliant first novel has a culture of moonshining, clan feuding, and enduring poverty that has kept an iron grip on generations of inhabitants. At 16, Sadie Blue Tupkin feels trapped in Baines Creek, NC. She is illiterate, married to abusive Roy, and expecting a baby. Roy is a mean drunk who tends his still and sees other women. Interwoven into this heartrending tale are the stories of others in Sadie's community, like her granny Gladys, who raised her and knows all about no-good husbands. Meanwhile, Preacher Eli lives with his spiteful sister Prudence and longs to meet someone intelligent. He finds that person in new teacher Kate, who has a magical way with her charges, including Sadie, whom she inspires. When Roy's latest lady friend disappears, Birdie, the local medicine woman, sees a necklace in the pile of shiny objects her pet crow brings home. It belongs to the missing woman, a present from Roy. In an ending that packs a wallop, Sadie finally takes control of her life. VERDICT Writing with a deep knowledge of the enduring myths of Appalachia, Weiss vividly portrays real people and sorrows. A strong, formidable novel for readers of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy.--Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kathleen Grissom, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything "This one nearly broke my heart. With deeply human characters I will not easily forget, Weiss captures the fierce pull of desperation and the formidable power of hope.  An impressive debut from a talent to watch.... "
  • Erika Marks, author of The Last Treasure "Every page of Leah Weiss' debut, If the Creek Don't Rise, has a pulse as fierce and unyielding as its Appalachian setting. Told through an ensemble of narrators, men and women of all ages bound by the inescapable power of place and belonging, it is a lush exploration of the darkest rooms in the human heart, and the brightest fires of the human spirit. Weiss' remarkable gift for language left me breathless, and her characters, distinctive and unapologetically-human, will haunt me for some time."
  • Library Journal "Writing with a deep knowledge of the enduring myths of Appalachia, Weiss vividly portrays real people and sorrows. A strong, formidable novel for readers of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy."
  • Publishers Weekly "...tender but powerful debut...highlighting Weiss's considerable characterization skills.

    "
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A Novel
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