Don't get me wrong: I love books about kings and queens, international intrigue, age-old conspiracies, and universe-altering choices. But once in a while, I find myself needing to step back from the drama and pick up a story about ordinary people. Hank and Julie are two such people --- young newlyweds in the Appalachians near the turn of the century, struggling to get by in an unforgiving world of disease, death, hunger, flood, fire, greed, poverty, and prejudice. Julie's voice is vivid and relatable, and the story kept me glued to my seat. As other reviewers have noted, it's not a book to read if you're already feeling melancholy. But if you're in a mellow mood and want a story that will sink into your soul to stay, "Gap Creek" is the book to choose.