This story begins in Memphis, December 18, 1854. It is about what happens when Jeanne Bettencourt and Clint Hardin each inherit half the riverboat Helena Rose.
Jeanne, a widow with a six-year old daughter, Marvel, was working as a chambermaid in a hotel, and just barely making enough money to get by. Her parents died in a tornado that destroyed their steamboat before Marvel was born and her soldier husband was assumed dead.
Clint was a machinist, singer, and boxer. He had seen Jeanne and Marvel when he sang for a town Christmas festival, but was surprised to see her again in the lawyer's office when they learned a distant relative of theirs had died and left them the cargo steamboat.
With Jeanne's experience as a pilot on her parent's boat and Clint's experience as a machinist, they go into business together delivering mail and carrying cargo. The business becomes successful quickly, partly because of help from a gentleman friend of Jeanne's, George Masters, a frequent guest at the hotel. The rest of the crew consists of Ezra who had worked on the boat for the previous owner, Vince, a friend of Clint's and Roberty, an orphan boy Jeanne rescued from a beating. A stipulation of the will was that they had to also take the dog, Leo, which they all loved.
There were many complications in the story which made reading even more interesting. At one point, when I thought the story had reached a satisfactory ending, another major problem popped up. It was difficult to put the book down because I wanted to find out what would happen next.
This is a Christian novel and there are references to God, the Bible, and Christian life. I appreciated the way this was handled and I liked that one of the main characters was further along in spiritual development than the other. This allowed the reader to observe the growth and, yes, there were a few tears along the way.
Overall, an excellent read and I highly recommend it.
Read Chapter 1 of The River Rose
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from B&H Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255. The book was then donated to my church library.