I'm glad I stuck this book out. In the first couple of chapters, there was a character who really annoyed me. She sounded like Granny Clampet, and every time I came to her dialog, that was who I heard in my head. I was ready to put the book down, but I kept going. Fortunately, that character didn't last long, and once she was out of the story, the book took off. After a time, I started to really fall for the other characters. This author has an impressive command of scripture. I suspect that is what carried her through her work as an OB nurse. I delivered at the hospital where she worked. A friend of mine who also worked in on that floor came to visit with me while I was there. Something she said to me that day has stuck with me ever since. My friend talked about what a joy it is to send a family home when you can see how much the parents love the baby and that it is going to have a very good childhood, and how hard it is sometimes to put a baby in its mother's arms and send it out the door, when you have invested yourself in that baby for several days, and you can see that the parents don't love it and don't care. Jan Watson has written so much of that struggle into this series. I suspect she coped with that struggle by much daily prayer and Bible reading, and that comes through in these books.You can also see that this author has had long practice at forgiving and seeing both sides of a situation and a person, and that makes her characters believable and fallible, while still being lovable. There are no one dimensional characters in this series. Some you love immediately, and some you grow to love as the author reveals more and more of the heart and the pain of what seemed to be a completely unlovable person.This book is definitely worth reading.
As you read you are transported to the hills of Kentucky and to the heart of Copper Brown. It's a delight to read both the struggles and the joys in her life. The characters are not predictable, as you will discover in the unexpected ending!
This story takes place in a mountainous region of rural Kentucky around 1881. For our main character we are introduced to Copper, a red-haired sixteen-year-old girl struggling through her teenage years. After causing the readers to become familiar with the current setting and family structure, Ms. Watson transports the readers back in time using a wonderful technique called flashback. Through this process, we become over-filled with emotion as we meet Will (Copper's father), Julie (Copper's mother), and Grace (Copper's step-mother). We are then returned to the current time and place with a strong emotional attachment to all characters in this book and then the story continues...From the moment I opened this book and read the first paragraph I was captivated and knew that this book was to be refreshing. Full of love, heartache, laughter, and tears. Boy, was I right! Troublesome Creek is the best fictional novel that I have had the pleasure of reading in a very long time and I could not and would not put it down until I reached the end.This novel was full of plot-twist, family devotion, faith, humor, tragedy, forgiveness, and romance! I found myself crying & spontaneously laughing out loud. Not only do I recommend Troublesome Creek, but I can not wait to read the following two books in this series. Willow Springs and Torrent Falls.
This first-time novelist captures the readers heart as pages quickly turn to reveal plot twists and a story of real-life family love. This is how Jan Watson, author of Troublesome Creek, debuts her work as a novelist. Main character Copper, a sixteen-year-old girl from the hills of Kentucky, struggles through her teenage years with her loving, but somewhat sewn askew parents. After an introduction to the existing Brown family, Watson takes the reader into the familys turbulent past, bringing more complexity to the story. Troublesome Creek, the nearby waterfront that Will Brown has loved for so many years proves to be loving and unforgiving all at once. A mountain cat herself, young Coppers outdoor-loving instincts come to battle against her mothers desire for her to become a proper lady. Threats of boarding school and city life lead Copper to make hasty, unwise decisions that guide her into paths she would never have chosen otherwise. A story of true, tested love and the blossoming of youth into adulthood makes this a gentle but poignant story. Watson gracefully leads the reader into the plot by the powerful use of flashback. Troublesome Creek is revealed to the reader one piece at a time, but leaves no questions about what is to come. Relationships between characters are unforgettable and feel hauntingly realistic. Although Watsons plot twists are unusual in everyday life, a reader cannot help but empathize when the characters find themselves in painful or awkward situations. Copper is a young and fiery redhead who loves the mountains, her family, and her hound dog Paw-Paw. As the story progresses, Copper finds herself in love with John, a friend from her childhood. Stepmother Grace and father Will serve her with guidance and stability as she makes decisions as an inexperienced adolescent. Rifts between mother and daughter emerge, as can only be expected in a story of a growing family. But, ultimately, love pulls the family through the rough waters.
Jan Watson's first published novel does a wonderful job at making the characters come alive, using flashbacks as a tool to give history & depth. Her descriptions of the way of life during the 1800's and the Kentucky landscape make you feel as if you are there. And the characters struggles with faith & trust in God are very realistic and spoke to my heart. I definitely look forward to reading more stories of Copper & her family.
Troublesome CreekJan WatsonTyndale, Nov 2005, $12.99, 372 pp.ISBN: 1414304471In 1881 in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky, Grace and Will Brown argue over educating their daughter Laura, known by most as Copper. Grace wants to send her niece whom she adopted when her sister died to a fine school back east. Will, the biological father, wants Copper to stay at home.Copper wonders if her stepmother does not love her and how life would have been if her mom Julie has lived. At the same time, Grace knows she loves Will, but keeps a shameful secret from him; she threatened to give up the baby for adoption that her unmarried sister was carrying years ago. Instead Will married his beloved Julie and when she died came to Lexington to ask Grace to help raise her blood. These secrets threaten to cause more than trouble for a family that now include twin sons, but whose past has caught up to them and has hidden the love that everyone shares but fears stating let alone showing.TROUBLESOME CREEK is an entertaining character driven Americana tale that provides the audience a taste of life in Kentucky in which the impact of the Civil War lingers on over fifteen years since the hostilities ended. Interestingly Will, Grace, and even Laura struggle to admit they love one another because each fears that in some way will lessen their feeling towards the late Julie. In the case of Grace it is the secret; to Will it is his love for both sisters; finally to Laura it is what could have been. Though the action is limited even when Julie vanishes in the storm Jan Watson provides a strong late nineteenth century historical tale. This is one book readers will put on their keeper shelf because it is so fascinatingHarriet Klausner