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3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  170 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
A bold debut novel weaves a coming-of-age story into the gritty lives and desolate beauty of Vermont's northeast kingdom

Like a cross between Denis Johnson's Already Dead and David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Reap draws us into the hot, still air of a summer backwoods at whose fringes lurk danger and epiphany. Jessup Burke, a lonely, naive sixteen-year old, has grown up without a
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published February 7th 2000)
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Feb 19, 2012 Rebekkila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast moving story of a boy who gets mixed up with a backwoods family of drug dealers. I liked the story, I could picture everything that was going on in the book vividly. The characters were pretty interesting. You had glimpses of them as children, happy and looking forward to a good life but the reality of how they turned out was far from happy or good. Watching sixteen year old Jessup getting sucked into these disillusioned lives was like watching a car crash in slow motion.

At time
Aug 02, 2013 Nick rated it really liked it
The ending contained a few of the flaws one might expect in a first novel— it's been too long since I read it to be more specific, but they had to do with "wrapping things up"— but notwithstanding, it's a magnificent book. It perfectly captures the mindset of poor rural Vermonters in an era when the dollar is almighty and the ski industry has brought those dollars to Vermont— but only to be dangled in front of the poor natives, not for them to be actually allowed to partake of— and the ensuing r ...more
Andree Sanborn
Dec 29, 2014 Andree Sanborn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, december, 2014
The setting is northeastern Vermont: here. And Rickatd's got it right. Reap strongly reminded me of October Light by John Gardner, who was not a Vermonter. Rickstad is, although not from this remote area. Despite that, Rickstad got the people, climate and geography right. He understands the poverty. This is a slow moving novel and I admit I had problems starting the book and keeping to it. The contrast between the slow beginning and the violent end is stark. Stark like the woods, the wind, and ...more
Apr 24, 2016 Kathi added it
As much as I liked his two other books, this one was more difficult to like. Had difficulty conceptualizing the story initially, took a while to get through it. Dark perspective on rural life in Vermont and what desperation and trees can lead people to do.
Apr 05, 2015 Cyndi rated it liked it
Ok, Eric, I really like your writing style. I love your singular familiarity with Vermont. Thank you for the complexities that made me think, the insiders view of the seamy side of back country life in New England. And, most of all, thank you for the character of Jessup. One little bit of redemption I can hold on to. Enough said.
May 25, 2016 Andrea rated it it was ok
Reap by Eric Rickstad just doesn't work for me. Characters were weak. Story is about a bunch of losers, drunks, and pot heads. In a small town where a kid has lived his whole life but nobody knows him. I don't think so. How stupid and naive is Jessup for a 16 year-old who doesnt attend school and had no friends. Then, Marigold is an adulterer and child rapist. Reg, Turnip or whatever his name is can't read and can't do math, a total loser. Jessup's momma is a useless parent who doesn't know the ...more
Jul 31, 2016 Erin rated it it was amazing
It took me four hours to read this book. Four hours because I could not put it down. Four hours where I went through the full range of emotions about the characters. I hated Reg and how he seemed to bully others around him. I felt sympathy for Marigold and the way her husband was treating her. I instantly likes Jessup. I liked Reg and wanted him to prevail over "the bad guys". I rooted for Marigold as she fought back. I cried for Jessup as he felt even more loss. This is a gripping novel that wi ...more
Mia Siegert
Dec 16, 2015 Mia Siegert rated it it was amazing
I'm going to need to think a long time about this one before I leave a review. Beautiful literary fiction with the thriller bent. Jessup was such a great character. I'm actually at a loss for words.

I do see how people were confused after reading THE SILENT GIRLS because they're basically two different genres.

Read with Rickstad's biography that he has an MFA--I wonder if perhaps this was his thesis because from a literary standpoint, absolutely superb.
Lesley Christien

A sad little coming of age book. When you have nothing but youth and innocence and you just fall into the company of people who have neither goodness nor innocence, it could end tragically but there is a possibility, a small one, of hope. The truth might set you free or maybe just adrift.
Apr 13, 2015 Angela rated it liked it
Interesting book. I am definitely a fan of this author. This book was a little slow to get going and the point was a little obscure for a while, but then I couldn't put it down. Great job for a debut novel. Definitly worth the read. Can't wait until he writes more.
Annie de Bhal
Jul 22, 2016 Annie de Bhal rated it it was amazing
I had no idea stagnation could spin so fast.

Having read The Silent Girls right before, this is very different, though not any less brilliant.
Eric Rickstad sure has a way with words.
Mark S. Brictson
Excellent Tale

The writing seems crisp and true. Characters come alive, imperfections and all. This novel has it all- suspense,horror, coming of age, and more.
Lori Anderson
Apr 26, 2015 Lori Anderson rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
It came full circle, starting where it ended.

A lot of violence, backwoods marijuana-growing, and many dreams, some irrevocably broken, some that leave you wondering what happened.
Aug 25, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A raw ride into the dramatic bloody lives of the violent and desperate backwoods of Vermont.
Ellen Thielen
Nov 02, 2015 Ellen Thielen rated it liked it
The hopelessness of the characters added a different dimension to a complicated plot.
Feb 15, 2015 Cindy rated it liked it
It was engaging with down-to-earth characters and an ending that I didn't see coming!
Nov 23, 2008 Pamk rated it it was ok
You know, it's very rarely that I give up on a book, but I think I'm giving up on this one. It's really well written and some of the imagery is very powerful, but it's such a downer so far! It's about a bunch of 'losers' - jobless folks living hand to mouth, growing pot and just not people that you'd want to know. I just don't feel like sticking with these people and life's too short ya know?
William DePuy
May 29, 2016 William DePuy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too much repetition.

The story was just not well thought out. The plot very thin. I felt the story was just incomplete and needed a better ending.
Aug 26, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was ok
I think this is a slow moving book and am losing interest in reading it
Oct 12, 2007 Thad rated it really liked it
did this guy ever write another book? this debut novel was great.
Feb 22, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
see review posted at
Apr 05, 2010 Aris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would make a better movie.
Krista rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2016
Kathleen Gallagher
Kathleen Gallagher rated it liked it
Sep 24, 2016
Jennica marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2016
Greg marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
nelliegreeno rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2016
Samantha Caldwell
Samantha Caldwell is currently reading it
Sep 18, 2016
Radell Earl
Radell Earl rated it did not like it
Sep 18, 2016
Shannon H.
Shannon H. rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2016
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Eric Rickstad is the New York Times, USA Today, and Globe & Mail Bestselling author of THE SILENT GIRLS, a psychological thriller heralded as intelligent and profound, dark, disturbing, and heartbreaking. His most recent novel is LIE IN WAIT. His first novel REAP, a literary crime novel, was a New York Times Noteworthy Novel. He lives in his home state of Vermont with his lovely wife, daughter ...more
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