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If the Creek Don't Rise
A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.
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As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

Created: 10/30/17

Replies: 16

Posted Oct. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 88

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As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

Have you read any other debut novels that you can compare to this one? Would you like to see more novels from Leah Weiss in the future?


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 72

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RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

The title of this book did not make me want to love it. I felt it was clichéd and expected to find the "same-old, same-old" inside its covers. The first chapter did not dispel my expectations either, but a commitment to read I had made, so I continued. And I am so glad that I did. This book only gets better the deeper into it the reader goes - I loved the characters, the way the author presented and developed them by entwining setting and characters/community, and I learned or relearned an amazing amount about the culture and about life and living in the process. So much wisdom in this book! The title and book jacket do not make this look like a must-read book, and perhaps it isn't, but if one is lucky enough to read it, he/she will be well rewarded. This book is not the cliché it initially appeared to me. I think it is an excellent debut novel and its characters have remained with me weeks after I have finished it - the characters make the setting come alive, and I can see and feel it clearly yet as I write. This is an excellent debut read and I hope the author has great success with it - I hope other serious readers will not be put off by the book-jacket or title.


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ashleyb

Join Date: 03/27/13

Posts: 7

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I think Weiss presented this debut novel in an unexpected and successful way. The chapters are divided up into first person accounts by the various characters in the book, yet you never forget how they relate to the others. Weiss did a good job of presenting several different first person accounts while still tying them together and also revealing secrets about other characters. My favorite is that Marris knew all along that Gladys killed her husband but never told her. In other, less successful, debut novels and even subsequent novels, the reader is forced to page back through the book after an especially long chapter on one character to be reminded of who the other characters are and how they relate.

The only thing that did seem like it came from a less seasoned author is the name "Sadie Blue."

I look forward to Weiss's next novel, and I hope she continues with the Appalachian theme.


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 129

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RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I often choose new writers because they often have a fresh voice and a different perspective on life. This book did not disappoint in any way. She wove an interesting tale and gave a voice to each character. I look forward to reading more from Leah Weiss.


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millicentg

Join Date: 03/10/15

Posts: 12

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I started this book one Sunday morning and when I finished it that night I was so sad to have to come back to reality. Since that's my highest praise for any book, I would rate this as an outstanding debut attempt. When I immediately passed my copy to my reading buddy neighbor, she flipped through it, noticed how much I had underlined and said, "okay, you must have really liked this one!" I am not known for my love of description in books but I loved this author's descriptives words and her way of saying so much with so few words. The writing was like poetry. However, I did notice that I did almost all of my underlining in the chapters of the characters I loved. Interesting that I did not notice this pattern until I had completed the whole book.


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 397

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RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I think this is a terrific debut novel. The characters are well defined and interestingly quirky and their interaction was interesting and defining of each of them. The setting was so well portrayed I felt that I was there and the people were very real and believable and some were easy to like and others easy to not like. I would love to read any new books she publishes.


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenk

Join Date: 10/31/17

Posts: 4

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I was impressed by Weiss' research into Appalachia in the 1970s and the way that she was able to bring this area and time period to life. I also was swept away by the characters, I think she has a gift at capturing unique voices that even some seasoned authors have difficulty achieving. While I connected more with some characters than others, I was astounded that this is Weiss' first novel.


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccal

Join Date: 06/16/16

Posts: 19

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I was impressed with this novel as her debut novel. I found it realistic, genuine, well-researched, heart-felt prose, and vivid characters that I cannot forget. I agree with the observation that " The world has room for another good book". It was an immersive experience filled with emotion and imagery. I was grateful for the opportunity to have shared it with Leah Weiss and other readers and plan to recommend it to our Book Club. The book lends itself to lively discussion.

Up to this point, my thinking was that there could be no debut book that could match the one I finished reading about a month ago, ---Stay With Me by Ayobami Adelbayo--a book short-listed for the 2017
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Kudos to Ms. Weiss! I have her novel right up there at the top now..


Posted Oct. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 230

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RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

Congratulations, Leah Weiss. I thought "If the Creek Don't Rise" was a wonderful book. There was a terrific amount of research to capture the heart and soul of of the Appalachian people. I loved the way she developed each character, I felt I knew them so well and then learned more about them from a neighbor. The descriptions of the setting were perfect. I felt I was up there on the mountain with them and I wasn't coming down until it was over. I actually cried while reading the section where the whole community gathered in the store to learn what happened to the Dillard boy. My grandfather was a coal miner and it brought back memories. And wasn't Birdie just wonderful, and her understanding of her neighbors, human and animal. So many characters, but you never forget any of them, from Kate to Sadie. Beautifully done.


Posted Nov. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lerrgoo

Join Date: 03/02/17

Posts: 7

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I thought the title suited the book.


Posted Nov. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 33

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

This was a fine debut novel. It reminded me of The PoisonWood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver in its use of first person chapter by chapter evolution of story and characters. I was tempted by the title and engrossed in the story of Sadie Blue. I did not care for the struggle I felt trying to read the poor English of some of the characters which slowed me down and cut some of the enjoyment of the stry down.


Posted Nov. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 278

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RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I was impressed by the writing and the research that went into the story, I definitely look forward to reading more from this author. I have to admit when I received the book, I was not too impressed with either the title or the book jacket. I was hooked after the first sentence and finished the book in two days.


Posted Nov. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jillf

Join Date: 07/30/13

Posts: 21

One of the best

This was one of those books that you don't want to finish, yet you can't put it down. I started the book on a Saturday morning. "just one chapter" while I drank my cup of coffee. Then chapter 2.... 3.... 4..... until it was done. The characters were so well developed and engaging that I was drawn in to that world. I'm ready for the next book already!


Posted Nov. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 71

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RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I thought it was one of the best debut novels I've read in quite a while. The characters were well developed & the plot moved along at the perfect pace. I'm looking forward to reading much more by this author.


Posted Nov. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
CheriFaith

Join Date: 10/06/14

Posts: 37

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

It was far more stylized than other debuts I have read this year - and at times, that got in my way as far as enjoying the flow of the work!


Posted Nov. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 2

RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I thought this was a great debut novel, probably one of the best I've read in quite sometime. The characters were well developed. The story was believable and the culture was well represented by the story as it took us on a trip into a different time and place. Look forward to reading more from this author.


Posted Nov. 10, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 69

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RE: As a debut novel, how does this compare to others?

I liked the characters, story line as it brought to light the issues in the story area. a great debut novel. A page turner.


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