Review: Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson


Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

Rating: ✮✮✮

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face to face with the boy’s profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times.

But as Pete’s own family spins out of control, Pearl’s activities spark the full-blown interest of the F.B.I., putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed. ”

My thoughts:

In honor of America’s Independence Day, I thought I’d post this review I wrote on Goodreads a week or two ago of Fourth of July Creek. Aside from the title, it has nothing to do with the Fourth of July, but hey, at least the title works!

When I decided to read Fourth of July Creek, I did it mostly because 1) it’s summer and this seemed like it could be summery (turns out, not really) and 2) I was pretty sure it would help with a challenge. I didn’t have a ton of expectations going in, and as I started reading, I had mixed feelings.

The writing style wasn’t my favorite. It was a little disjointed and definitely felt like it was from the main character’s POV (which can be seen as a good thing). The writing never drew me in, but the different parts of the story did keep me reading. The synopsis makes the plot sound much more exciting than it is, though. The ending was, to me, both very good and very frustrating. It was probably the most memorable part of the book (so stick with it if you’ve started!).

I’m not sure I can say I really liked this book, mostly because of the writing and mostly unlikable characters, but I didn’t exactly dislike it either. It falls solidly in my “meh” camp — it wasn’t really my favorite, but I can see how it might work for someone else. I’m giving it 3 stars because I did like many parts of the story itself, even if the writing style wasn’t my particular cup of tea.


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