4 out of 4 stars
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George R. Justice is a brilliant author. In his book, Greezy Creek, he brought alive the backdrop of breathtaking Kentucky's mountain scenery. The prologue introduces the protagonist, Rubin Cain, a retired sheriff receiving a letter from his friend, Calvin, a Cincinnati judge. Calvin is serving on a three-judge panel, taking a plea in a murder case that he thinks involves Rubin's relatives from Greezy Creek. This letter reminded Rubin of sixty-eight years ago, during the recession after his father died. The time when mystery, murder, genuine friendship, and an epic journey to self-discovery began.
Rubin grew up in a place called Caney Creek. After his father died, he went to live with his grandmother, a traditional healer. When Rubin turned fourteen, he finally moved to Greezy Creek to live with his aunt Mary Olive. Here, wits and determination are survival's primary requirements. The mountains and the weather had a way of toughening up the residents of Greezy Creek, whose employment of choice would've been bootlegging Moonshine whiskey if it weren't for the law. In Greezy Creek, to be legally right may not be enough, and to be morally right may not be the most comfortable choice.
The author intricately elaborated the most complicated life's experiences with such intensity that I became the protagonist in my mind. I got interested in this book immediately after I saw the cover. This book is a work of art perfected from the characters' demeanor to their accent, making it easy for the reader to conjure vivid images rich with voices and even smells. At five hundred seventy-seven pages, the tome is full of twists, turns, and heart-wrenching moments.
I loved everything about this narrative because it highlights some things I've seen happen in Tanzania. Before the planting season and during the harvesting season, every farmer will perform a ritual to protect the farm and crops. The belief is, if you don't, you may never harvest at all, and if you do, you will be doing it for someone else. It was very intriguing to know that rituals were a thing in Kentucky in the 1930s.
I commend the author for engaging professionals to edit this book, for I found very few errors. I recommend this book to readers who'd enjoy a bit of history and an excellent hard-knock life story in Kentucky, USA, in the 1930s. Because the book contains some violent scenes, it may not be suitable for younger readers. With such brilliant writing style, structure, and detailed narration, I have no other choice but to rate Greezy Creek by George R. Justice 4 out of 4 stars.
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