Blog Tour Review: The Waltz of Devils Creek

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The Waltz of Devil’s Creek
by Justine Carver

Publication Date: October 20, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction/Coming of Age



Judith Campbell is dying, and she cannot take the painful truth about where her son came from to the grave with her. While on her deathbed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1994, Judith tells him the tragic story of his conception, and which of two men his birth father could be: the young man who professed his love to her, or the pastor who assaulted her.

Set in the Deep South in 1947, The Waltz of Devil’s Creek digs into the dark crevices of racism and women’s rights during a heated political climate in an era of segregation. Combined with Judith’s lack of social stature, and at a time when reporting sexual assault was unheard of, every injustice is stacked against her from the very beginning.

But there is a light in Judith’s young life: her best friend, Joseph Bird, who has loved her since childhood. Joseph stands up for Judith when no one else will and proves that even in the darkest of times, a light is always burning.

“The Waltz of Devil’s Creek is a poignant and memorable tale that outshines the standard conventions of its genre.” – The Booklife Prize

My Review

Some of our most valued treasures are our families and our stories. But what happens when family is threatened? Or the family you thought you knew turns out to have some pretty big secrets?

Love, loss and racism are big themes in this heartfelt story by Justine Carver. Centering around 64 year-old Judith, who is dying of cancer, this story fluctuates between 1944 and present day and the circumstances of her son’s conception.

Told in Judith’s  voice, the story depicts growing up in rural Athens, Georgia. Motherless and living with her father, Judith may be white, but she is poor. And that, according to a local black woman, is the same as being black.

” You might be white, but you ain’t got no money, and you and your pa have too many dealings with the black folks, so you might as well be black, too”.

When Judith is the victim of a tragic attack, the town does not take too kindly to one of their own being accused.  And, because reporting such an attack is unheard of, she is put into an impossible situation when decides to speak up.

This story evoked so many emotions that at times, it was a bit hard to read. The absolute poverty Judith lived in was alarming. The love she has for a boy from the “right” side of the tracks is heartbreaking. The treatment she endured from the narrow minded townsfolk made my blood boil.

The descriptions of the abuse towards the black residents of Athens was told in a very graphic manner, yet I think it was needed to convey the absolute chaos black people (and poor white people) lived in during this time.  The KKK was indirectly referred to while the overall understanding in the town was that white men ran the show. Even though I understand that racism exists and is still a serious issue, it is hard to wrap my mind around the fact  that these things actually happened.

I thought the characters were believable and well thought out. Judith finds comfort from her father and her best friend, Joseph, which helps her through some very tough times. I appreciated her strength; I can only imagine how many young women were abused in such a way and didn’t speak up in those days. I find it ridiculous that the girl’s reputation would be soiled, even though she was the victim. This book showed me that sometimes revenge and closure present themselves in different ways.

The last part of the book took the reader through a number of years in a short time and read a bit like a summary, but it worked. The story opens with Judith making the decision to tell her son what happened to her, and it ends….well, at the end. The final few “discoveries” threw me a bit and I wish they would’ve been disclosed a bit sooner so they couldve been explored more. But what an ending, and what a character. A strong, strong woman.

This book discloses a “trigger warning” at the beginning, as there is a sexual assault early on in the story that is somewhat graphic in nature. There is also a subsequent attack that is quite surprising.

All in all, a good read that will remain with me for some time. Thank you for letting us be a part of your book tour!

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About the Author

Justine Carver was born and raised in the Southern United States on a heavy dose of creek-wading, lightning-bug-catching, and Saturday morning cartoons. She is a full-time writer, all-the-time reader, and every now and then, she pulls her head out of the clouds long enough to remember how much better it is up there.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, November 28
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Sunday, November 29
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Monday, November 30
Review & Excerpt at Novels Alive

Tuesday, December 1
Excerpt at I’m Into Books
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Wednesday, December 2
Review at Bri’s Book Nook

Thursday, December 3
Excerpt at Bookworlder
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Friday, December 4
Excerpt at Gwendalyn’s Books

Saturday, December 5
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, December 7
Review at The Review Crew

Tuesday, December 8
Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, December 9
Feature at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 10
Review & Excerpt at Older & Smarter


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The Waltz of Devil’s Creek

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