“A Creole beauty. Eccentric sisters and a black rose. One granny woman and a red button. Church suppers and bingo nights. A poet out of his element. Dreams of Mexico. The shadowy world of thoroughbred horse racing. If the Creek Don’t Rise is a collection of hard-used characters, tangled relationships, family angst, and fortitude. Step into the Deep South and experience the lives and hardships, hopes and dreams, of folk who have nothing except grit—and sometimes love—as their currency. Eighteen tales and six postcard vignettes, highlighted with artwork by Susan Raymond, make this collection a skillful and moving exploration of the commonplace, the hidden, and the unforgettable.
Review: “If the Creek Don’t Rise” is an appealing collection of Southern-based stories that captures the essence of the region. The author’s deep Southern roots lend an authentic voice to the tales woven within this book. Readers are transported into a raw, unfair world filled with relatable characters. The stories evoke vivid sensory experiences, allowing readers to feel, smell, and hear the surroundings while immersing themselves in the characters’ emotions. The honest and genuine dialogue transports readers back to a bygone era, reminiscent of conversations heard in front of a country store on a Saturday morning. The figurative language and storytelling of the South are a perfect fit, and Nancy Hartney skillfully addresses themes of race and gender. This collection is an interesting tapestry of Southern life, painted with diverse tales reflecting the soul of its people. It is an easy and enjoyable read, providing both entertainment and insights into life’s experiences. The characters come to life through the author’s keen understanding, making readers feel as if they truly know them and are present in every scene.
About the author:
According to her bio, Nancy Hartney writes short stories and, although she has lived in Texas and California, she is a daughter of the South loving its sweaty beauty and feeling grief about its dark underbelly.
She has contributed to Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, The Ocotillo Review, Arkansas Life, The Chronicle of the Horse, Sidelines, and the Horsemen’s Roundup. Her book reviews have appeared in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, motorcycle touring articles in American Iron, general interest pieces in Do South, Fayetteville Free Weekly, and Ozark Mountaineer. Her fiction has appeared in mid-west regional anthologies while Cactus Country, Frontier Tales, and Rough Country have featured her western tales. She writes for the Washington County Historical Journal Flashback (AR).