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The Truest Pleasure

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  774 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Ginny, who marries Tom at the turn of the century after her family has given up on her ever marrying, narrates THE TRUEST PLEASURE--the story of their life together on her father's farm in the western North Carolina mountains. They have a lot in common--love of the land and fathers who fought in the Civil War. Tom's father died in the war, but Ginny's father came back to w ...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published January 9th 1998 by Algonquin Books (first published January 10th 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,529)
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Rachel Crooks
Jan 23, 2010 Rachel Crooks rated it it was amazing
I would like to convince people that they should read this book. I don’t know exactly how he did this, but Robert Morgan got into the head of a woman and made her seem real on the page. I learned so much about myself in reading about the marriage of Ginny and Tom. She is so passionate about revivalist meetings, and he so adamantly against them. He spends all of his hours working hard on their farm, scheming about how to make every dollar he can. The real-ness of this couple’s Appalachian life to ...more
Sep 09, 2014 Lee rated it liked it
Set in rural America over 100 years ago, this is the story of the daughter that wasn't the pretty one nevertheless falling in love with a man 6 years her senior. She's inheriting acreage and the house from her father when he passes but for now he lives with them and eventually their children as time goes on. There was also a religion component with Pa and Ginny being drawn to the revivals and such while husband Tom wasn't a fan...I'm sure it's well researched and accurate to what daily life was ...more
Aug 08, 2010 Dee rated it really liked it
Robert Morgan, the author of Gap Creek, has written a description of the ordinary life of a family on an isolated North Carolina farm at the turn of the 20th century. It's a story of the nature of marriage. He means to tell the readers that we should look at our beloved every day to discover what he has given, what is positive in that life, not what is negative.

There is a lot of description that some readers may not enjoy, but it is just a wonderful story of an ordinary life that has a lesson to
May 26, 2009 LadyCalico rated it it was amazing
I read this book after Gap Creek and liked it even more. It stunned me and it haunts me, and I reread Brother Locke's letter and Ginny's ending ruminations over and over. This book made me more appreciative of other people's pain and frailties as we drag along all our shortcomings through the short time we're together on our earthly journey. Gotta read This Rock.
Sandy Clark
Robert Morgan's style reminds me of Janice Holt Giles'. Simple living in the early 20th century in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Simple, but not easy.
Nov 02, 2014 Francine rated it it was amazing
I really liked this little novel. It was a pleasure to hold in my hand ... published slightly shorter than most books.

This is a story of a family; each of the members of the family have a good sense of themselves. They are hardworking ... they are just trying to survive in a harsh world. The author tells their story in such lovely poetic language.

I just love Ginny; she finds God in nature and cannot understand how people cannot find their joy in religion (chiefly her husband). Her older brother
Mar 24, 2008 Lynne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
I finished this book over the Weekend. I liked this book, but not as much as Gap Creek. Morgan tells such good stories about people. His insight to what's going on in his main character's mind is amazing -- and his main characters in both Gap Creek and Truest Pleasure are women! The characters he creates are amazing. I always feel like I know them well and it's hard to say goodbye to them when the story is over.
Amy Kailey
Life gives you rotten lemons.

This was a very well written book, once again Robert Morgan hasn't let me down in terms of story-telling and originality. However, that being said, it was actually quite sad, and futile and leaves you feeling that life actually really sucks much of the time. So, an incredible Author, but I wouldn't read this one again.
Marjorie Davies
Mar 18, 2011 Marjorie Davies rated it it was ok
I did not really like this book. Even though I loved the narrator's ability to describe how she feels about things/people and issues in her life, and I felt I really understood her well, I HATED how the book ended. I also was very frustrated with the amount of time her husband and her spent at odds, not talkiing or touching.
Jan 12, 2013 Lorraine rated it it was ok
I could hardly wait to finish this book. I read Gap Creek by this author, which I really enjoyed. This book, The Truest Pleasure, similar background, Appalachian country, Ginny and Tom newly married... This story just seemed to go on and was all I could do to finish this book!
Apr 04, 2014 Pammy rated it it was ok
I chose this book on the promise of a depiction of rural Appalachian life in the 1900's. The passion, the use of simple language, descriptions, and challenges put to the characters were not, however, enough to carry me through...I often just left it unread for days on end.
Mar 11, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
An excellent book about family, relationships, marriage, faith, willfulness, love, jealousy, heart, and home. Tom and Ginny are characters that make you want to root for them. Not a beach read, but definitely a book you will think about long after you close the cover.
Feb 10, 2011 Elle rated it liked it
I don't need a lot to happen in a book in order to enjoy it, as long as the characters are learning and changing as they go. Ginny, the lead character in The Truest Pleasure had several revelations throughout the book, but she did not put them into practice and ended the book with as jumbled and confused thinking as when we met her at the start.
The book is very well written. I just wish the author would have distilled his important points instead of burying them in day-to-day life. His way is a
Davis Aujourd'hui
Oct 04, 2009 Davis Aujourd'hui rated it it was amazing
This is a period book that speaks to a trap which is ever-increasing within these complex times in which we live. That trap is obsessive thinking and compulsive activity. It can manifest in the form of addiction. This can be drugs, alcohol, sex, food, relationships, gambling, among many others.

In this book, it manifests in religious frenzy for the heroine and workaholism for her husband. Yet any addiction initially has its roots in our deep desire for connection. Such is the case for these chara
Sep 02, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
I like all the books by Robert Morgan. This was one of the best!
The characters, the setting in the mountains, and the history.
True to everyday life on how they worked on a farm, and how they
worshiped God and especially how they loved each other.
Kelly Cuellar
Oct 23, 2015 Kelly Cuellar rated it it was ok
Not my favorite storyline. Disliked the time it took for the lead characters to actually figure things out and when they did, it was too late to have any impact.
Apr 26, 2013 Tabetha rated it it was amazing
Robert Morgan is one of the best Southern Literature authors I've ever read. This book really brings you back in time and makes you feel what it would have been like to be living in the turn of the century in the backwoods of America. The relationships he establishes between his characters is captivating and really draws you in. You come to know each one individually and understand the family dynamics. I am amazed how well he writes in the female voice of the main character. If his name was remo ...more
Sylvia Woods
Aug 18, 2015 Sylvia Woods rated it really liked it
It has been many years since I read this book, but I do remember enjoying the story and the language. Robert Morgan is a master of language.
Dec 25, 2012 Chrissy rated it really liked it
This book was purchased second hand and immediately loaned to my sister-in-law. It is the story of Ginny, a young woman with a strong mind and strong faith. She joins her father and brother when they go to revivals and feels the spirit work inside her. She eventually marries Tom, a hard working and gentle man, but their differences in faith leave them unevenly yoked and creates problems between them. In steps jealousy and anger and resentment.
Ginny and Tom tough out some difficult times and the
***1/2 Atmospheric look at the hard lives of a mountain family in North Carolina in the late 1800's. It's about the marriage of Ginny and Tom, who mostly tangle about her religious fervor and need to attend revival meetings. Not a lot happens compared to other novels, but as a love story goes, it's sweet.
Victoria Garaitonandia
Jan 15, 2015 Victoria Garaitonandia rated it it was amazing
Robert Morgan is an amazing writer. This was my favorite of his stories
This is a book that will stay with the reader for a while. It evokes a specific time and place in that way some writers have that makes you believe you've been there and lived with those people. And it shows you real people, kind and mean, loving and spiteful, fill of wisdom at one moment and confused and lost feeling the next.

It's a lovely, lyrical book that may make you laugh or cry. It left me wondering how a man could look into a woman's soul so clearly and understand what made her. A pleas
May 24, 2016 Brittney rated it really liked it
This is one I'll be thinking about for awhile.
Jun 02, 2013 Silvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Ik vind het altijd bijzonder als je je kapot ergert aan de hoofdpersoon, maar desondanks wel verder blijft lezen. Mijns inziens is dit een goed boek dat een interessant kijkje geeft in een boerderij-leven begin 20ste eeuw. En wat daarnaast op een intelligente, subtiele manier de vraag stelt wat de betekenis en de waarde is van de ecstatische ervaringen (door de betrokkenen gezien als 'in de Geest zijn') waar de Pinksterbeweging/charismatische stroming zoveel nadruk op legt; maar zonder de lezer ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Karen added it
Very good book--great descriptions !!!
Apr 02, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
very good family story
Karla Rowland-woods
Jul 08, 2015 Karla Rowland-woods rated it it was ok
meh. not my favorite.
Oct 11, 2014 May rated it really liked it
I liked it very much. Lots of emotion, turmoil, love, hate, forgiveness, and at the end understanding.
Jan 02, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Another favorite!
Apr 26, 2012 Kay rated it really liked it
I gave this 4 stars because it was very well written. The characters, especially Ginny, the wife, was especially extensive. Her voice narrates the book. It was very descriptive of farm life in the early 20's. For once, it didn't dwell on poverty, but more on what brought richness to the soul - the land, religion, working hard, relationships. Nevertheless, it wasn't a Pollyanna presentation but more eloquent and wise. Although this was an excellent read, I preferred the author's other book - Gap ...more
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Robert Morgan was raised on his family's farm in the North Carolina mountains. The author of eleven books of poetry and eight books of fiction, including the bestselling novel Gap Creek, he now lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches at Cornell University.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
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