REVIEW: The River by Michael Neale

11/13/2012 — Leave a comment

The Blurb

“You were made for The River . . .”

Gabriel Clarke is mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. The rushing waters beckon him to experience freedom and adventure.

But something holds him back-the memory of the terrible event he witnessed on The River when he was just five years old-something no child should ever see.

Chains of fear and resentment imprison Gabriel, keeping him from discovering the treasures of The River. He’s remains trapped, afraid to take hold of the life awaiting him.

When he returns to The River after years away, his heart knows he is finally home. His destiny is within reach. Claiming that destiny will be the hardest-and most brave-thing he has ever done.

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My Thoughts

The opening scene of this book is completely heartbreaking – we see what young Gabriel sees at the tender age of 5. The next few chapters we see Gabriel as a broken child, trying to grow up but burdened by the tragedy he suffered. I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug this young boy, since his innocence was wrenched away from him at such an early age.

The book then fast forwards to Gabriel as a 20-year-old, stuck in a rut because of his past. But an adventurous streak comes across him and he goes back to The River and is completely changed by his experiences out there.

The first part of the book was slow, but important…it helped me understand where Gabriel was coming from and why he was acting the way he did in the second part of the book. From the point Gabriel goes back to The River it gets very interesting and picks up the pace. I was expecting it to be more of a suspense type of book, but it wasn’t – it was about a boy coming to his own after suffering throughout his childhood (not because he was denied anything, but because of fear). It’s a very sweet book, it makes your heart happy when you walk away.

The author left the book in a very curious manner, and I’m wondering if we will see a sequel to this book that continues Gabriel’s story. I hope that there is.

My Rating: 4 stars

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