Monday, December 31, 2012

"The River" Book Review

The River by Michael Neale

Gabriel Clarke was “made for The River.”  Coming from a family legacy of whitewater adventurers, it’s “in his blood,” as the book says.  The River by Michael Neale is a story chock full of life lessons – forgiveness, living life to the full, and overcoming grief.  After a haunting accident on The River leaves five-year-old Gabriel without a father, he finds himself far from the waters of Colorado and deep in a sleepy town in Kansas.  Growing up is a struggle and he retreats into himself with the pain and grief of that fateful day.  As he grows he slowly opens up, but parts of him remain locked, until an unexpected invitation comes his way to go camping in the state where he was born and his father was lost.  He experiences The River on that trip and again discovers the hold it has on him.  He finds himself in love with a girl and before he knows it, he’s working at The River adventure camp for the summer, which her father runs.  It is there that he must face his grief full force in an unexpected way, and make the choice to retreat into his old pain or fight his way to the life he was meant to live on The River.  

I found this book a little slow going at first, but by the camping trip chapter I was intrigued to finish quickly.  I was disappointed that it does not openly mention in any way that Christ is the way to true life, but I suppose it can be argued that The River was symbolic of that truth.  The book contains a Reading Group Guide and interview with Andy Andrews and the author.

*I received this book from the publisher for free (through the BookSneeze program) in exchange for my honest review.

Carpe Diem,

1 comment:

  1. Great review!
    I also struggled with the fact that the path to God seemed so vague. I wish the author would have clarified that.
    If you're interested, another company that gives free books to bloggers is Bethany House. I've really enjoyed their fiction books.


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