Thursday, July 6, 2006

Book Review: Lick Creek

Very enjoyable book! Lick Creek by Brad Kessler takes place is the small coal mining community of (surprise, surprise) Lick Creek, WV, during the late 1920s.

It tells the story of young girl (teenage), Emily Jenkins, who lives on a family farm. Her father, brother, and first love die is a coal mine explosion. Her mother goes into severe depression dealing with such a loss and at times doesn't even bother to get dressed. Emily is forced to become quite resourceful in order to provide for her and her mother. She takes to gathering berries, mushrooms and making goat cheese, and then traveling to the city of White Sulfur to sell these items to the fancy hotel.

During this time period, electricity is booming. Many electric lines are being installed--some right near Lick Creek. One of the lineman falls from a pole during a thunderstorm, and his crew brings him to the Jenkins home. Having this injured man in the house, breathes life back into Ada Jenkins, Emily's mother. She nurses him back to health. During his time at the Jenkins, he develops a strong relationship with Emily.

One of the things that really intrigued me about this book was how different things were back then. Would any of us know what to do if a man came to our homes with a dislocated shoulder, a broken leg, a gash to the head and a concussion? There were no phones (or at least the Jenkins didn't have one), and the nearest doctor was far enough away that he wouldn't be able to come until at least the next day. I was impressed that Ada knew just what to do! First aid was just second nature to her.

Just a warning...there are a few bad words in this book. Also, Emily does fall in love a few times, so there are a few scenes that are descriptive of this. I'd say it was nothing too explicit and it is very tastefully written, but just a warning that it is there.

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