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Ruin Creek

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  167 Ratings  ·  12 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)
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Best Books Set in Appalachia
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 355)
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Kathleen Granger
Apr 08, 2014 Kathleen Granger rated it liked it
Hard to get into .... Drags. More dreary family pain. Brings to mind "We were the Mulvaney's"
Mike Fitz
Dec 30, 2014 Mike Fitz rated it really liked it
Good book
Jan 21, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Sep 04, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 13, 2010 Ginger rated it liked it
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.
Mary Curran
Dec 26, 2013 Mary Curran rated it liked it
Very well written, but a little distancing. They should have seen the writing on the wall from the start and not married.
Sep 12, 2012 Marianne rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 18, 2013 Jessica Rullo rated it it was amazing
Beautifully and realistically written. I could really feel and empathize with each character because of the three different perspectives written from.
Nov 06, 2008 Barbara rated it liked it
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
Jun 26, 2011 Mary Solomon rated it liked it
Liked the writer's style and description but thought it belabored the family's dynamic.
Susan Tiritilli
Jul 12, 2011 Susan Tiritilli rated it it was amazing
Loved the book read it twice. I think it would be a great movie.
Apr 07, 2013 Geni rated it it was ok
Engaging story. Southern lit.
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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
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