Brooke Hargett's Reviews > Fourth of July Creek

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
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This book is hard to rate because its unlike anything I've read before. It's well written- Smith Henderson draws you in with his descriptions, landscape, and bleak situations. I've heard comparisons of his writing to Cormac McCarthy which seemed to fit. It's the story of social worker Pete Snow with his crusade to help the son of religious-zealot-recluse Benjamin Pearl. Pete's own daughter runs away, underscoring the irony of Pete's work. The interesting part about this novel is that most of the characters are largely unlikable, but you have to keep reading, which is a credit to Smith Henderson.
It switched viewpoints back and forth which was a little rocky for me- his daughter's perspective is presented in a third person question and answer format. It took a little bit of getting used to and I kept thinking "leading the witness" as the questions were asked. The viewpoint didn't work for me, but maybe other people will enjoy its uniqueness.
I'm glad we got to uncover what really happened to make the Pearls act the way they did. It's a good reminder that you don't really know people's whole story and so you shouldn't judge. The ending left me wanting a little more closure, but that may have been the intention of the author to have you wonder about some of it. I feel like the characters in this book will haunt you for some time after you finish it. Great debut novel for Smith Henderson.
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Reading Progress

June 17, 2014 – Shelved
June 17, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
July 2, 2014 – Started Reading
July 23, 2014 – Finished Reading

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