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The Truest Pleasure

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  622 ratings  ·  76 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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Rachel Crooks
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
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
Mar 24, 2008 Lynne rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Marjorie Davies
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Robert Morgan is an amazing writer. This was my favorite of his stories
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
I liked it very much. Lots of emotion, turmoil, love, hate, forgiveness, and at the end understanding.
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
i really liked 'gap creek' by the same author. this book has the same no-nonsense but elegant writing style about life a century ago. i won't say much about the story except that it is a vividly realistic look at life in the north carolina mountains with all its pains and pleasures. this story is about the relationship between a girl, the protagonist, and her new husband, their marriage and the survival of a family. She is religious, he is not; this is but one of the many obstacles they face in ...more
I normally really like reading books set in this region when I am up here (Northern Georgia/ South CArolina/ North Carolina intersection), but despite the good writing in this one, the story lost me about half way through. I think I was still too emotionally raw from my thoughts after reading East o,if the Mountains to enter into another relationship that bore the scars of wounded love. But it was well written, as I said, and gave a glimpse into a world very different from mine.
Meg Carl
I have mixed feelings about this book and don't know whether to rate it 3 or 4 stars. There were times when I was tired of their on again off again relationship. I almost quit reading it before I finished. However, I liked the characters and the rhythm of Robert Morgan's writing. I like the way it came to a conclusion and the conclusion that was drawn. I also appreciated the ecstacy that Ginny felt in the Holy Spirit. After all is said and done, it was a satisfying read.
Theresa Goodnight
This wasn't my typical summer go-to book, but I enjoyed how richly the author narrated the story with the first person drawl of Ginny. I really loved the context of her country valley, camp meeting revivals, and primitive home. The time period inherently contains difficulties, worries, and pain unfamiliar to me, but not so different. Surprisingly, her pleasures were not unique to her time at all. I recognized those same longings and delights. Overall, a good read!
Khanh Ha
Morgan is at his best when it comes to understand human relationships in a multicolored fashion. The Truest Pleasure teaches us that adversity in life comes from selfishness and that we are the most dangerous enemy to ourselves. Once we come to accept our shortcomings, we will open ourselves for a rare chance of being blessed by the truest pleasure.

Morgan said, 'When we come to an understanding of ourselves and others, it is often too late to use it.'
Kim Fowler
I'm a lover of books about the mountains, and simple country people that have to kill hogs and ground their own cornmeal and chop wood to live...not to mention get thru illness with handed-down mountain medical wisdom.
But most important - an author that can make you feel like you are right there, sitting in the woods and understanding the world through that perspective that reminds you mother nature is in charge and to live in the day.
SJH (A Dream of Books)
I picked up this book because I'd previously really enjoyed 'Gap Creek' by Robert Morgan. However I found this quite disappointing. The story moved at a very slow pace and failed to hold my interest and I kept waiting for something significant to happen which never did. The central narrator, Ginny, never appeared fully rounded or characterised enough, so the whole book kind of washed over me rather than grabbing my attention properly.
Tammy Lee
"When we come to an understanding of ourselves and others, it is often too late to use it." This quote sums up this book for me. We can all relate to these characters, their struggles and joys. The author says the shared sense of intimacy, pain, loss and kinship and recognition of that kinship is why we read fiction, and why others write it. He could not be more right. I enjoyed this book nearly as much as Gap Creek, which I read years ago.
I ended up on this one because of the Gap Creek book -- I think it was in the "people who enjoyed this, also enjoyed..." section of amazon. This is another 'nothing happens but everything happens' book. There's no true plot line, no conclusive start to finish, just things that happen to a farming family back in the day.

(btw, I read all the jenkins books, the gap creek, and this one, all in the first two.five weeks of vacation)
Eles Jackson
I felt this book had great potential but lacked something. The on again off again between Ginny and Tom became redundant. And it was annoying that neither of them learned from previous mistakes in their relationship. Ginny wanted so badly to worship in the way she chose but never used any part of any religion to be better at her marriage. I didn't feel that the characters "grew" at all or learned anything from their life experiences.
Amy Kitchell-Leighty
Robert Morgan uses the techniques of his poetry background to write a lovely tale of family and love. Truest Pleasure is set in South Carolina in the late 1800s and is told through the eyes of Ginny who is married to Tom. The writing is clear and simple but told in a beautiful way that keeps the reader interested, informed, and connected to Morgan's characters.
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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.
More about Robert Morgan...
Gap Creek Boone: A Biography The Road from Gap Creek This Rock Brave Enemies: A Novel of the American Revolution

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