Cindy's Reviews > Cross Creek

Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
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's review
Jan 05, 2009

really liked it
Recommended for: all on my list
Read in March, 2009

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 was not disappointed, that said, before I finished it, I checked this site to see the opinions of other readers...that was disappointing. The author was accused of being a racist, and while I can certainly understand due to language of the account of Cross Creek, I would have to defend Ms. Rawlings as a woman of her times, but enlightened for them. How can this be said when the "N" word was used and references to blacks that are extremely offensive? I will use her words. "We know that in our relations with one another, the disagreements are unimportant and the union vital." She speaks here of all the residents of the creek. "How can any of us be cruel to one another? How are wars possible, and hate, when we must all face such things? Death is the enemy, and life itself is inimical, for all its bounty. We must hold one another close against the cosmic perils." Beyond her words both these and those that are offensive, are her acts of kindness and her love for the people and the land that breeds individuals of character. As a foreigner she stumbles awkwardly among them, and finally learned how each person, is vital to the other. Her last few lines give the reason I underlined so much of this book, "We know only that we are impelled to fight on the side of the creative forces. We know only that a sense of well-being sweeps over us when we have assisted life rather than destroyed it...yet when a wave of love takes over a human being, love of of nature, love...such an exaltation takes him that he knows he has put his finger on the pulse of the great secret and the great answer."
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Cindy Had to read Cross Creek again. While I remembered how much I enjoyed it, I forgot all the wonderful words of a woman who died far too young. What more could she have given us, and how sad for those who knew and loved her. Ms. Rawlings was in love with the individuals who resided near, and with the land. Her writings are wise and descriptive. Despite being a Southerner, I had not given to the many varieties of corn bread. Those paragraphs alone are enough to entice one eat up Cross Creek.

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