Gabriel Clarke’s life is wholly devoted to “the River,” a stretch of rapids in the Colorado Rockies. He can’t bear to be away from it; its power is undeniable. Neale’s novel is a powerful allegory about faith in something more powerful and mysterious than oneself. Gabriel loved the River as a child, but when it took his father and he was sent to live with his mother in Kansas, he developed a fear of the water. A trip to the River as a teenager reminds him of his connection to this wild place. As he trusts the River to lead him forward, Gabriel’s life flourishes into more than he dreamed it could be while in Kansas. Neale evokes a relationship between his protagonist and nature as real as any Gabriel has with the people around him as he learns that by trusting the River to guide him, he will end up where he is meant to be. The River is not without its rough patches, enabling Neale to illustrate how it is in the toughest situations that we find our way. --Carolyn Richard
“The River is a story that will transform how you see yourself and the world.”
— Andy Andrews, New York Times best-selling author of The Noticer, The Traveler’s Gift, and How Do You Kill 11 Million People?
"The story begins with a terrifying episode that 5-year-old Gabriel and his father experience above a spectacular waterfall in Firewater Gorge. When Gabriel is a young man, the traumatic event mysteriously draws him back to the river with a seemingly supernatural force. Michael Neale’s skillful portrayal captures Gabriel as a delightful, excited child and again as a questioning young man in search of himself and the father he loved; Neale also delivers the terror in between. His characterization of Gabriel’s growth to maturity sounds authentic. Music breaks, background music, and sounds of cascading waters add realism. Michael Neale is a talented author who narrates his own work with skill and empathy."
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