A Classic of Regional Writing Rawlings explores the lives and interations of the odd assortment of people living in Cross Creek, Florida in the early 1900s. It is often assigned reading for teens, but I doubt that most of them can appreciate it. Her accounts of neighbors feuding and subsistance living gives us many lessons in human behavior. The lyrical descriptions of wildlife and the orange groves and wild landscape are very appealing. Your mouth waters as you read her essays on downhome foods like hush puppies. She turned those into a cookbook which I'll have to try out. Modern readers squirm uncomfortably at her use of the N----- word and her characterization of blacks as irresponsible, drunken, immoral, etc. It is probably a faithful representation of common thinking at the time it was written, so recognize it as a snapshot of the times. Then move past that to luxuriate in the beautiful passages in the book. (I deducted 1 star for this) The reader becomes absorbed in Rawlings' love of the land and the creation of a home. It gives much the same feelings as A Year in Provence or Under a Tuscan Sun.
OFTEN OVERLOOKED WORK I have been familiar with this work for a number of years and have been rather saddened that more attention has not been paid to it. Yes, they did a sort of TV movie some years ago, but while pleasant, it certainly did not do justice to this particular work by Rawlings. As other reviewers have pointed out, this is a rather autobiographical story of one womans struggle at a time when struggling was common, particularly for women. I personally perfer this work over the Yearling, as I simply feel it is better written and far more insightful. This work gives the reader a glance at what this country was like earlier in the last century, both good and the bad. The author does have way with humor and is able to laugh at herself, something that is always refreshing. For a pure joy and a wonderful read, I would recommend this one highly.A woman for all seasons `Cross Creek' is an extraordinary book written by a woman with the keen ability and insight to draw out the poetic from the mundane. An educated cosmopolitanite from the northeast, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings plunged into the rustic life of cracker Florida with a ferocity belying her Leo sun sign. She longed for the farm life, which ran deeper in her veins than did the comforts of urban living. A Pulitzer Prize writer, a naturalist, and gourmet cook, Marjorie was also handy with a shotgun as a person or two found out who mistook her gender for a sign of weakness. Marjorie was a great observer and devotee of nature which she expressed with a resonance that lingers on the heart. She animated the inanimate and bestowed upon the humblest of Florida's creatures, personality. 'Cross Creek' has reached out to me from the deep past to quicken my present experience of living in Florida. I find myself looking expectantly for personality in the natural world. The evidence already exists in 'Cross Creek'. I wish that I had known Marjorie. She died the year I was born.