Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ruin Creek” as Want to Read:
Ruin Creek
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ruin Creek

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In Ruin Creek, David Payne revisits North Carolina's Madden family.

Jimmy Madden, a fiercely independent high school basketball star with big dreams for his future, sees them dim one Fourth of July when his debutante girlfriend May Tilley tells him she is pregnant. Twelve years later, Jimmy grudgingly endures the workaday drudgery of his father-in-law's tobacco warehouse;
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 26th 2002 by Plume (first published 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ruin Creek, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ruin Creek

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 280)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kathleen Granger
Hard to get into .... Drags. More dreary family pain. Brings to mind "We were the Mulvaney's"
Jan 21, 2012 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
This is a story about the breakdown of a marriage in the 1950s. It's told from three perspectives: Jimmy, the would-be doctor, May, daughter of a wealthy and influential southern family, and Joey, their unplanned 12-year-old son. It's a story about broken dreams and new found realities and how this family deals with them. I give this story an A+! - it was well-written and thought-provoking.
Superbly told story of extended family and the unraveling of a marriage told from different points of view. I believe the author was trying to help us see both the good and bad in the husband and the wife, but I simply could not like or sympathize with the husband who refused to grow up. The language, 1950's setting and the geography of coastal North Carolina were beautifully done.
This book chronicles Joey Madden's parents' lives when they met and when they were married. It's told from the perspectives of Joey's mother, father and Joey himself and offers a lot of insight into Joey's personal issues that are discussed in "Gravesend Light". I read "Gravesend Light" first, so I found this book helpful in explaining things and giving more perspective.
If you ever want to read a really good Southern novel, give this one a shot. It starts out beautiful from the very first page . I read it long ago, but still remember it being one of my favorite Southern books .
Mary Curran
Very well written, but a little distancing. They should have seen the writing on the wall from the start and not married.
The most beautiful prose I've read in a long time. His descriptions of the area are exquisite. His character development is without par. He shows a sensitivity unparalleled.
Jessica Rullo
Beautifully and realistically written. I could really feel and empathize with each character because of the three different perspectives written from.
Like standing at the fence talking to your backyard nieghbor, You truly have to be a native to appreciate this book and it's characters.
Mary Solomon
Liked the writer's style and description but thought it belabored the family's dynamic.
Susan Tiritilli
Loved the book read it twice. I think it would be a great movie.
Engaging story. Southern lit.
Nancy Brooks
Nancy Brooks marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2015
Pam Foster
Pam Foster marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2015
Hayley Elliott
Hayley Elliott marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2015
Billiejo marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2015
Sarah Harwood
Sarah Harwood marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2015
Michael Carmean
Michael Carmean marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Kris marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2015
Suzanne R. Turpin
Suzanne R. Turpin marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2015
Kim marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Tzivi added it
May 26, 2015
Theresa marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Denis marked it as to-read
May 18, 2015
Hadley Lofald
Hadley Lofald marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
Eileen Connolly
Eileen Connolly marked it as to-read
May 08, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blood in the Water
  • The Road Taken
  • The Saints and Sinners of Okay County: A Novel
  • In the Night Season: A Novel
  • Henry and Clara
  • Random Hearts
  • Harvest
  • The Wheat Field
  • Homework: A Novel
  • Still Talking
  • The Desert Crop
  • The White Widow
  • Gone to Her Death (Lloyd & Hill, #3)
  • A Rose for Virtue
  • Nell
  • The Tarnished Eye: A Novel of Suspense
  • Going All the Way
  • Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography of Martha Stewart
David Payne was born in North Carolina and attended the Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of five novels-- Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street, Early From the Dance, Ruin Creek, Gravesend Light, Back to Wando Passo--and a memoir, Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother's Story, forthcoming from Grove Atlantic in August 2015. Visit his author web ...more
More about David Payne...
Early from the Dance Back to Wando Passo Gravesend Light Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »