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Cross Creek

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  908 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Originally published in 1942, Cross Creek has become a classic in modern American literature. For the millions of readers raised on The Yearling, here is the story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's experiences in the remote Florida hamlet of Cross Creek, where she lived for thirteen years. From the daily labors of managing a seventy-two-acre orange grove to bouts with runaway...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published 1942 by Charles Scribner's Sons
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SK
Rawlings is a lyrical writer who loves the earth and nature. The book originally published in 1942 is a substantial "should read" and I refer you to Rawlings' background in the "reviews" section. A memoir of Rawlings, the book describes her life as a young woman who takes on running a Florida farm in the 1930's. Her city background and her resourceful determination to live in rural backwoods are delightful. Some of her financial decisions were a little hard to believe. With the benefit of hindsi...more
Melissa
This is one of those books that I've felt I "should" read, jsut because I've been hearing about it for so long. Some of the writing was beautiful. However, I couldn't quite get over how condescending she was to her neighbors.
Some of this was certainly a racist thing. I always have mental battles when this occurs in books of the period when that was generally more accepted. On the one hand, it's a time capsule. But I can never completely remove my own views on all of this. It's really come down (...more
Cindy
Mar 05, 2009 Cindy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all on my list
Vacationing in St. Augustine Fla during the winter was a delight, and to find, as I like to do, a book about the area makes the enjoyment of the respite from ordinary life even better. Cross Creek was the Florida find. I had seen the movie years ago, and was captivated by the time and place as well as Ms. Rawlings and her neighbors at "the creek". As we know movies are normally a thin unsatisfying version of the book they are based on, so as I held the book in my hand I was anxious to read it. I...more
Christine CC
This is a 1942 edition purchased at 'The Julian Book House' in Julian, CA. caught my eye because the cover was so pretty and, being from Florida, it seemed like something I should have read a long time ago.

I started it this week and I'm a multi-book at a time reader, so I'll complete it in due time. However, I'm already being carried away by Ms Rawlings deep love of the simplicity of her rural community, the people and the natural landscape. She speaks of a lone Magnolia amoung the Orange Trees...more
Ernie
I really didn't know much about Florida until my daughter moved down there 5 or 6 years ago. Every visit has turned up some amazing aspect of nature or history. For example, I grew up in the north-east and springs were trickles of water that emerged from wet meadows on mountainsides; in Florida springs are entire rivers that leap, full blown, from a hole in the ground (no mountainsides). During the last visit, a month ago, my daughter took us to Majorie Kinnan Rawlings home just south of Gainesv...more
Julie Davis
A souvenir picked up while on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida. I vaguely recall reading this when a young adult but clearly I was unprepared to appreciate the author's lyrical prose style which is laced with a wonderful sense of humor.

It is a clear look at life in back country Florida in 1942 and so sometimes is a bit cringe-worthy. But at that time those things were not cringe worthy which is surely worth reflecting upon in terms of what we do not see as cringe worthy in our own society but...more
Jimmy
Autobiographical stories by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of The Yearling, about her life in Cross Creek, Florida. She tells of characters like 'Geechee, who is named after the Ogeechee River. 'Geechee was a young black girl who was bought by the author for five dollars to do her housework. Seems like the girl's family was too large to care for her themselves. And there's Mr. Martin and his pigs. No fences in Cross Creek to keep animals in. You have to build them to keep other people's an...more
Rhonda
I really enjoyed this book. Published in 1942, it is an authentic peek into Florida history and is chock full of autobiographical anecdotes as well as insights into Florida plants and animals, farming, hunting, small-town politics, and the local socioeconomics of the times. And throughout it all, Pulitzer Prize winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings breathes great character, humor and insight.

I specifically enjoy her approach to writing about all of the nature around her. I noticed this when I...more
Abigail
I feel a special kinship with Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings--we both experience some sort of mystical, spiritual connection with the wildlands, orange groves, and creatures of Florida. Visiting her home a couple of weeks ago for my birthday day trip was exhilarating--I recognized bits of her land and home from her autobiography, and the tour guide made her stories come alive again: the outhouse with the screen door, her fireplace, the hunting dogs, orange groves, pecan trees, the neighbors she adored...more
Catherine
Memoir of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ experiences after purchasing a primitive farmhouse and large orange grove in north-central Florida. I read elsewhere that she bought it with her husband and they divorced within a year of moving there; he’s not mentioned at all. Very few characters are recurring, and the chapters are not chronological until near the end of the book. This makes it feel somewhat like a compilation of short stories, but with a common thread: it’s easy to put it down for a few day...more
Lisa Corathers
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings found her Eden in the rural community of Cross Creek, FL. The author's writing has a truly wonderful cadence. I especially enjoyed her ability to describe the bounty of Florida's nature...even those dreaded water moccasins! Some of the stories were hilarious, while others quite poignant or outright sad. As much as I admired her narrative abilities, the one thing I found very disturbing was how she wrote of her poor black neighbors. I believe that some of this was due to...more
Bobbi
I loved this book. I've cut and pasted the description from Goodreads, because I couldn't have said it better. If you haven't read it, you've missed Rawlings' best story.

Originally published in 1942, Cross Creek has become a classic in modern American literature. For the millions of readers raised on The Yearling, here is the story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's experiences in the remote Florida hamlet of Cross Creek, where she lived for thirteen years. From the daily labors of managing a seventy...more
Amanda
The first half was difficult to read. I wanted very much to hold Rawlings as a bit of an idol: an independent woman of the 30s making her own way in Florida. But I found it very hard to admire her in light of her very raw racism. Although she seems to have had some strong personal relationships with black people, there seems to be always a veil of judgment between her and them -- an otherness that is hard to read.

The second half, when Rawlings moves from personal relationships to her relationsh...more
Cathy
Beautiful descriptions of 1930s Florida, when it crawled with wildlife and riotous communities of unimaginable flora. Had a tough time with her blatant white superiority though. If she were writing in today's world her words would have no doubt been "p.c.", but because she wrote nearly 70 years ago during an era when blacks were just two generations out of slavery, her constant use of "Negroes" and "colored" were tough to digest. Made it hard to finish the book. Disregarding that aspect (hard to...more
Emily
Due to the time and location of this biography, there were some racist statements and phrases that made me cringe, but on the whole the volume and poetic detail of informative and entertaining stories, this is definitely a worthwhile read! Really lovely.
Erin L.
Sep 12, 2007 Erin L. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Ugg! I really hated this book. I had great expectations for it because it's about an area less than 30 minutes from where I live. However, the plethora of detail bogged me down and made it difficult to wade through. Stereotypes about and it's obviously dated. It was interesting enough, but too long. At the end I regreted the time I invested.
Kerry Hennigan
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Yearling, found her creative voice and her inspiration for many of her characters and incidents at Cross Creek – a small hamlet in Florida where she lived.

Rawlings had deserted urban life up north and took to tending her orange grove at Cross Creek and getting to know her neighbors.

The book that she wrote after becoming a successful novelist is a series of vignettes, reflections, observations and amusing anecdotes about the lands...more
Josh Liller
I picked this for a Florida book club I run. Rawlings is a famous Florida author and this seemed to be her second-best regarded book after "The Yearling" which I didn't chose because of its younger target audience.

"Cross Creek" is Rawling's loose memoir of slightly more than a decade (1928-1942) living in the titular rural area southeast of Gainesville. She writes about her encounters with local residents, both white and black, and the local flora and fauna too. The book is written almost essay-...more
Judy
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Yearling, writes of growing oranges on a farm in the wilds of Northern Florida from 1928 through the 1930s. This book was interesting because my husband and I traveled to Rawlings's Cross Creek home, but I must admit that at times I was bored with her endless description of the environment. I did enjoy the stories about the backwoods people of the area and her interactions with them, and I wish there had been a stronger...more
Debbie
Another one of those....what real living in early Florida was like.....books. I have visited the home she writes about and the book brings it to life, right down to the Orange Groves and the rustle hinged gate!! Read the book, then visit Cross Creek, off Route 301 in North Florida. Never tire of this book, she was quite the Adventerous woman! Another book I read again and again! There is a bunch of her First Edition books on display at the house. My date is for one of the times I read it over......more
Melissa
I had mixed feelings about this book. Before I read it I was expecting an account of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings life and how she homesteaded. While this book has some of that, it actually wasn't the type of homesteading account I thought it would be.

There isn't really a set time line to this novel. She jumps around back and forth between years and seasons and people. While she does describe some life on the farm, the majority of her time is spent describing the people of Cross Creek, and not alway...more
Joy
I was drawn to read M.K.R. partly due to childhood memories of moving to Florida from the Midwest, but mostly because of my love for nature and landscape in general. Rawlings can convey her personal intimate connection to place so beautifully it's heartbreaking. For the past 20 years I have returned again and again to specific passages in Cross Creek to read the detailed descriptions of plants and wildlife, and to read the inspiring reminders of our dependency on the land and our place within th...more
Melora
I gave this four stars, but I'd have given three and a half if I could. It was by turns very good and completely awful. Rawlings's descriptions of the Florida landscapes and of her interactions with various wild animals and eccentric neighbors were marvelously evocative. Her racist comments and tirades were absolutely jaw dropping. I read some of these aloud to my husband and son, and they wondered why on Earth I hadn't consigned such white supremacist drivel to the trash can. But then there are...more
Ellen Rohn
This was a beautifully written book. Her descriptions made me feel like I was there, experiencing the humidity of Florida with her! I would really give this a 3.8 I think. it was a really interesting read, but not necessarily a book I'd read again. Her reflections on her neighbors and human nature are intriguing. Of course, keep in mind she's living in the South before the civil rights movement. I'm sure she was an enlightened person for her time, but many of her expressions are definitely archa...more
Ashley
There were parts of Cross Creek that I absolutely adored, like "Hyacinth Drift" and "Who Owns Cross Creek." However, parts of the book made me very uncomfortable. In spite of Rawlings very real attempt to become a part of this community, her writing at times is racist and classist. I kept having to remind myself that she was much more progressive than other people in this place during this time. I do respect the way that Rawlings works to support the community she joins as a member, not an outsi...more
Marge
I read this book because I'd heard about Rawlings at a small conference on Zora Neale Hurston I attended last winter in Stuart, FL. I'd also just finished another book set in Florida, and I thought this one would add to my sense of the place. It did, but, as others have noted, the racism of the times as reflected by Rawlings' seemingly complete acceptance of it, put me off. There was much to like in the book's stories of the difficulties and pleasures of homesteading at the time, though.

Reading...more
Georgene
A memoir of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings years spent living on an orange grove farm in Cross Creek, Florida. This book was published in 1942 so it is a bit dated, especially in her views on African-Americans. The book featured vignettes of the people she met in her neighborhood and adventures with her friends around old Florida. She spent time hunting and traveling with friends, entertaining and working on her writing. Her descriptions of scenes in Cross Creek and of her travels around Florida were...more
Sue Gannon
I recommend this book with reservations. This author of The Yearling writes lovingly and lyrically of nature around her orange ranch in Central Florida. Her accounts of the birds, animals and scenery are engaging and evocative. However, being published in 1943, it reflects the attitudes of the time and while she writes kindly of the people who work for her, there is a whole chapter in the middle of the book that shocked me with its racist tone. I almost had to put it down at that point but I con...more
Cathy
Tall tales? Perhaps. But they're tales of a Florida that may have existed in some form, and they're tales of a Florida in which I want to believe. Compelling, gritty storytelling from one of Florida's "Mothers."
Elaine
Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's autobiographical tale of her life as the owner of a Florida Orange Grove and her "voyage" of self discovery frm self centered and mediocre writer to the brilliant author who wrote The Yearling.
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Awarded Pulitzer Prize in 1939 for The Yearling.
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“We cannot live without the Earth or apart from it, and something is shrivelled in a man's heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men” 28 likes
“Madness is only a variety of mental nonconformity and we are all individualists here.” 19 likes
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