I am a native N.C. girl who grew up in the foothills of N.C. not far from where the story of Gap Creek is set. I went to college in the mountains of N.C. and have a BA in English and Drama. I am a former public school teacher and am now the program director of Artsplosure-a non-profit Arts organization. I have tow teenaged daughters and have been married to the same man for almost 21 years.
I totally identified with the characters in this book-I have known many people very much like Julie and Hank and their families in my real life. I have actually been to churches like the one they attended in Gap Creek. As a modern day "workaholic" myself I understood her need for the work and the comfort that it brings.The sense of working on a project whether it be a floor that needs washing or a grant that needs writing-and the sense of satisfaction that comes from completing that work-defines so many women both in her time and in mine. She typified the strong woman of the world who doesn't even realize her own strength most of the time and is capable of far more than she ever realized. I saw this in my own mother-who had magical strength like this. It was my daddy who acted big and strong but all of us kids knew that the rock hard strength was within my mama. She was the one who stayed up nights never sleeping a wink when one of us was sick, she was the one who got it done-whatever it was — she made it alright. She — like Julie — was the spiritual strength and emotional base. I loved the scene during the flood where Julie realized that she was truly stronger than Hank but that almost made her feel better and didn't weaken her opinion of him at all — it almost made her feel good to know that he felt that way.