Monday, September 3, 2012

The River - A Book Review

Gabriel Clark is a typical rambunctious five year old who loves spending time with his dad.  His life is quickly turned upside down when his father dies trying to save a kayaker in the Colorado River as Gabriel looks on.  Now Gabriel has to go live in Kansas with his mother and he continues to struggle with his grief and the fear he now has for The River.   Throughout his childhood he never feels like he truly belongs in Kansas, but when he is a young adult, a friend invites him on a group rafting/camping and hiking trip to Colorado.  Hesitantly he accepts and little does he know that this trip will forever change his life.  While there he meets Tabitha and with her help and a few other events he finds a love for The River and a new outlook on life.  When it is time to head back home Tabitha asks Gabriel to spend the summer with her working for her family on The River.  He heads back to Kansas, but after a few days he realizes that The River is where he wants to be.  Before he leaves, his mom gives him his father's journal.  Reading the words of his father and grandfather in the journal and the love from Tabitha's family, Gabriel begins to learn more about his ancestors and forgiveness and living life to it's fullest.

I was really excited to get the chance to read this book.  Michael Neale writes in such a way that brings the story alive and you feel that you are on the sidelines watching the story unfold.  There were a few things that I was disappointed with.  First, I felt that some of it was too detailed.  When Gabriel was growing up it seemed that the story was kind of drawn out.  Don't get me wrong...the book starts with a bang and ends with a bang, boom!  It was just a few chapters in the middle that were a little boring to me.  Secondly, I did not feel like this was a "christian" book.  Just for the fact that there is little talk of God.  As a christian, so much of what is said about "The River" can be replaced with "God".   For example  - "The more you experience The River, the more you want to stay close by.  When you experience The River you live."  For me that describes God, but that was never brought out in the book.  Even with those two things, the book really is a wonderful read.  I finished it in two days and was enthralled with the way things unfolded.  This is Michael Neale's first book and I think he did an amazing job!!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I had seen this book and wondered about it. Thanks for your thoughts and the review. Hope you have a great week! :O)