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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review - The River


The River
Author: Michael Neale
Cost: (Amazon) $11.35

I grew up in Colorado and loved to spend time along the Cache La Poudre river.  In fact, there were large stones that hung over the river a ways up the canyon that I would drive to so I could sit on a rock and read. 
When I started reading The River, I could relate to the majesty and power of a Colorado river.  Initially, I found the story very engaging.  The main character, Gabriel, suffers a tragedy as a child and finds himself in Kansas, a long way from his original home with his father at their rafting center.

As Gabriel grows, he tries to deal with the tragedy and make a life for himself.   One day, an old high school friend invites him on a trip to Colorado where he rafts The River and finds that that lifestyle is ingrained in him.  He returns only to learn the rest of the tragic story he experienced so long ago and begins to make peace with it.

Honestly, I found the story to lack cohesion.  Without offering spoilers, suffice it to say it never really comes together as a complete story.   Maybe I just don’t get it, but The River takes on a personae and there is a white hawk that seems to follow Gabriel.  However, it never really quite makes sense.  There are several events that are too coincidental.  Maybe that’s what we are supposed to glean – that he was made to be there.

When I read the reviews for this book, they said the book was life changing.  I was so surprised when the book ended abruptly as I was still waiting for the epiphany that wasn’t to come.  There may be too much allegory for a literal person like me. 

I thought it was a nice read, but hardly life changing. 
*** Disclaimer: I received a review copy free of charge as a member of Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.

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