Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meet the Mountain People ~ Hazel Creek by Walt Larimore ~ Review


Many of the endorsements for “Hazel Creek” said this novel was much the same as the infamous “Christy” novels and while I never read “Christy”, only saw the movie, I can say I add my agreement to theirs.
           
Set in the back hills, the story has all the intricacies of how the people thought, talked and lived their lives. Tension and drama crowd the pages, but what I loved most about the story is how I as a reader, got to taste and experience these characters’ lives. Their struggles and desires.
            
The novel is a bit of a tear-jerker and provoked some wild swings of emotion from me. From fear (what. a. villain) to anger (at what the lumber company was doing to the mountain people). It has just about a bit of everything for every reading taste.
            
I do think in that “bit of everything for every reader” some of the story elements got lost. More focus was given to the lumber company at the beginning and end of the book, but I felt we lost that in the middle.
          
  There were times I got a bit lost in all the setting and description, and towards the end I hurried the story just a bit to finish, but it has that quality about it, a quality rich in character and their lives. It’s a well-portrayed novel.
            
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.



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More about the novel....

In the Hazel Creek Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains, Nathan and Callie Randolph, with their five unique daughters, wrestle to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against an unforgiving wilderness. 

An evil lumber company manager is seeking by every means possible to pilfer their land and clear-cut their virgin forest. A cast of colorful characters, including a menacing stranger, gypsy siblings, a granny midwife, and a world-famous writer—even a flesh-and-blood Haint—collide in a gripping struggle of good and evil amid eruptions of violence and tragedy. 

Our heroine, fifteen-year-old Abbie Randolph, has to help save her family’s farm and raise her sisters while preserving her faith. This important story, based on almost ten years of research and four years of living in the area, captures the speech, ways, and beliefs of these unique pioneers at a crucial and irreversible turning point in this Smoky Mountains community of the Southern Appalachians. 

With the march of the industrial age, especially commercial lumbering, the traditional life and ways of our southern highlanders in general, and the Randolphs in particular, were about to change forever.

14 comments:

  1. YOU NEVER READ CHRISTY????? LOL
    I loved Christy!
    This book sounds great.
    Thanks for the great review!

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    1. LOL, I saw a lot of those comments here. ;-) It was good, loved the heart behind it.

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  2. I LOVE Christy. It was one of the first "adult" books I read as a little kid. Loved it, loved it. Loved the TV show, too, and was so annoyed when it was canceled!

    Great review, Casey!

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    1. I think Janette Oke was my first "adult book", she was sooo good to grow up on! Only ever saw the first movie of Christy, but I guess I watched it when I was pretty little and my parents said the schoolhouse burning scared me. I think about that story once in a while. :)

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  3. i wondered why you labelled Christy as infamous? Thanks for the review. i will be looking for this novel. Good job, by the way.

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    1. I think because of the great work the author went to make her characters and setting memorable. So many people have grown up on Christy. It transcends generations, like The Waltons or Anne of Green Gables. To label two of my favorites. :)

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  4. Sounds like an interesting book. Looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for the review Casey!

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    1. Waving to Jodi! Always good to see you. :) Thanks for stopping by today.

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  5. I had the chance to read Walt's book before it debuted. I loved the theme of family woven through the story. And I think the cover is beautiful, don't you?

    PS: Read Christy.
    :O)

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    1. I saw your endorsement and smiled when I saw your name and debut novel title in print. :) The cover is lovely and fits the story great.

      LOL! Yes Mom...and everyone else. ;-))

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  6. Cool. I read Christy many many years ago and really like the book. The movies didn't really do them justice. Thanks for the review.
    Too much for everyone, can get burdensome.

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    1. It can...but I don't think this book got burdensome, just lost a few elements along the way.

      Sounds like the books were great!

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  7. Thanks for the Review, can't wait to read it, I loved Christy so I know i will love this one.

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    1. I bet you probably would, Ingrid!

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