Book Report: The Road from Gap Creek

WNC-born author Robert Morgan began his writing career as a poet. Which probably explains why his novels, even as they delve into the struggles of mountain life, balance elegant prose with stark realism and authentic dialect.

Among a number of short story and essay collections, non-fiction and novels, Morgan published Gap Creek in 2000. It went on to become a NY Times bestseller and an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

Mogan’s new novel, The Road from Gap Creek, revisits the Richards family from his earlier book. Available on Aug. 21, Road opens with a tragedy; fall out from WWII raging a continent away from the Appalachian farm where events unfold. In non-linear fashion, Annie Richards Powell narrates her own story and those of her siblings.

The Richards family, though of humble means, is a tight-knit group supporting each other through meager times (illness, the Great Depression) and good times. One of the book’s scene stealers is a German shepherd known as Old Pat who is a friend and confident to the Richards children, but also a fierce protector of the family.

Morgan expertly weaves his narratives, setting readers firmly in the swimming holes, garden plots and dirt roads of rural WNC. And while that place and time may be long gone, in The Road from Gap Creek it comes to life on every page.

Robert Morgan reads and signs his new book at Malaprop’s on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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