Monday, January 7, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The River by Michael Neale

Gabriel Clarke grows up afraid of rivers, but is inexplicably drawn to them. From age five until he is twenty, he lives with his mother in a rented apartment on a farm in Kansas. The owners of the farm, Earl and Vonda Cartwright, treat them like family, and share meals with them. Earl is a father figure for Gabriel.

When Gabriel is twenty years old his life consists of helping around the farm and working in the variety store. Jimmy Bly, Gabriel's friend since grade school, comes home from college and invites Gabriel to accompany him and his fraternity friends on a trip to Colorado. Gabriel meets Tabitha Fielding there. She helps him get past his fear of the water enough to make a river rafting trip. That excursion changes his life forever.

Author Michael Neale crafted the story in several interesting ways. One example is the way the story is told by Gabriel Clarke to a fellow passenger while sitting in the Denver airport when their flights were delayed. Another example, is the way he used journals from three generations of Clarkes to convey details.

This is a powerful story that may make you question the direction your life is headed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. 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.

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