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I am a third generation Appalachian and I soulfully identified with Linda's writing. It was like music to my ears to hear someone put into words what my family has lived and felt for so many generations. "My people", the Reynolds clan, settled in Chestnut Gap, near what is now Booneville. I have only heard many of these traditions repeated to me by my mother and her family as a part of our history, but they seem so ingrained in our hearts, it's as if we had lived it first-hand. My parents made it seem important to remember and never forget where we came from as children. I remember seeing my grandmother make soap in the backyard next to the smokehouse full of hams or dressing chickens over a boiling kettle of water on a open fire outside the back porch. I loved Linda's way of telling our story as fellow Kentuckians and Appalachians. There were times when tears came to my eyes because it came so close to my heart in the people she spoke of. They sounded like so many in my own family tree. Thank you for this truly beautiful piece of literary work.
Although we have read many books over the past eight years, "Creeker" (1999) proved itself to be one of our favorites. I have read it twice myself and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a poignant, funny, and wise account of DeRosier’s coming of age in the rural south, her traveling the world as a woman and academic (Psychology professor), and never losing touch with the place from whence she came. At times we laughed until our sides ached, reminisced about our own escapades and favorite memories, and the value of where we’ve been over the years. Other times, we rediscovered lost moments from adolescence: the first kiss, the first love, and the first heartache. And, we explored family, career, being a woman, and personal choices and consequences. DeRosier is a born storyteller and a cultural historian for a time and place that seems to be fading away. In short, "Creeker" is an autobiographical narrative told by a woman who seems to have figured out how to balance a complicated life without losing those aspects that are fundamentally necessary to be who she is. Her personal account is uniquely hers, yet again and again it resonated in some way for those of us in the group. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Elaine M (NY, NY)