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The River: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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— Andy Andrews, New York Times best-selling author of The Noticer, The Traveler’s Gift, and How Do You Kill 11 Million People?
G.D.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
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Top Customer Reviews
Gabriel was three years old when he witnessed his father's death. His father was trying to save an inexperienced kayaker on the river.
The story flashes forward to Gabriel at age five, now living with his mother Maggie in Kansas. The small, sleepy town of Cairo is where he grew up, troubled by the demons of his memories. He was terrified to play at the pond with the boys his age.
Different people in his life helped him work through his issues on a somewhat moderate level. Mister Earl and Miss Vonda, from whom his mother Maggie rented their room through the years, were good to them. Mister Earl, his only father figure, took him fishing, which became another victory in his fear of The River.
A new schoolteacher was a positive influence in his life. Her Indian name was Great River. She painted him a picture of the river where she grew up, and wrote him a note that was signed, "Great River loves you."
After high school, Gabriel worked on Mister Earl's farm and at the Five and Dime in town. He felt restless, as if he had not found his niche, as if there were something more for which he was made.
A high school friend invited him with other friends to Colorado for a vacation on The River. It was the same River where his father had died. He did not want his friends to know his past. His insecurities abounded, but a girl named Tabitha pursued his friendship, and invited him to return for the summer to Great River Adventures, a river rafting business provided guided tours of the rapids.
Throughout his time in Colorado, a white hawk showed up repeatedly. Gabriel believed this was his father watching over him.
Gabriel did return.Read more ›
The setting of mountain streams and forests comes alive with emotions of both guilt and searching for the truth of the past. You can hear the ripples of the water rushing past, with the introduction to the magic of the river intertwined with the beauty around it. From the anger of being left behind, to the guilt of being the one who survived. You'll be drawn into the quest to understand the lives connected on the river.
Read this book! It will be time well spent. How many times can you say that?
Life can be as lonely as a dirty swamp no one visits.
Life can be as loving as a pool that gratefully accepts your fishing lure.
Life can be as gentle as a flowing stream that carries us to healing waters.
The River, debut novel by Michael Neale is all of this. Climb into your canoe and dip your paddle into the spell this book will cast over you.
Adventuresome five-year-old Gabriel Clarke loves the Colorado River until he watches his father die while trying to save someone in a kayak. Traumatized, Gabriel withdraws into his own private grief. He moves away to live with his mother in Kansas. Years pass as he deals with the scars and pain of his father's death and lonely adolescence. Will he return to the river to find some resolution?
Descriptions in the book are mystical and magical. The words Gabriel's father and grandfather wrote in their journal are poignant revelations of their feelings for The River (always capitalized in the book). Marbles Gabriel buys at a fair are described as having The River within them. Parallels between The River and God are drawn with beautiful descriptive metaphors. The reader is challenged to leave the safety of what is familiar to find the rapids of what heals.
Sometimes simplicity has the greatest impact.
The author says "The story I'm about to tell you is inspired by a collage of...happenings in my life...I believe you'll find some of your story here as well." As so often happens, one person's story helps us understand our own. To our benefit, Mr. Neale isn't afraid to bare his soul in his writing. This reviewer will watch expectantly for his next novel. Full of marvels, The Riverby Michael Neale will help you examine places in need of healing within your own heart.
Netgalley provided a digital advance review copy for my unbiased opinion.
Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont.
The story itself is an obvious metaphor as protagonist Gabriel Clarke discovers both healing and an escape from his humdrum life when he experiences the mysteries of The River. Gabriel has to overcome his fear of water and forgive a deep heartache before he can fully give himself to The River - and thus follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
The River clearly symbolizes a deep, mysterious, and intricate relationship with God. We can choose to stand on the riverbank, content with materialism, afraid to jump in, or we can choose to immerse ourselves in The River.
Mr. Neale is said to be a gifted storyteller. That may explain his choice to tell his story using an omniscient viewpoint. Readers are often told how the characters feel instead of experiencing emotional ups-and-downs with the characters. For me, the omniscient voice didn't have the narrative strength it needed. For example, Philip Gulley is another gifted storyteller who uses the omniscient voice in his Harmony series. But the narrative voice in these books is distinct.
Minor glitches also made it hard to get lost in the story. At one point, the new teacher tells her students to push their desks to the walls and sit on the floor. A short time later Gabriel puts his head on his desk. I found myself skimming back through the paragraphs to see if I had missed something.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a remarkable well written book considering it is Mr Neale's first book. It is a compelling story about the life of a boy into his early adult life dealing with the loss of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Karen
One of the best books I've read. Touching account of how a young child grows up after seeing his Father die. Read morePublished 9 months ago by 4Design
I loved this book. The struggles Gabrial goes through are some that many people go through to find themselves. The last chapter brought me to tears.Published 10 months ago by VB
Michael Neale's "The River", which is a delightful, well-written story that is ideal for youngsters, extols the river's almost mystic ability to change the earth and defines its... Read morePublished 12 months ago by BookAWeekMan
The process may have been stepped up a notch, but the concept and feelings are so real in the beautiful tale of how love truly lends courage to live instead of withdraw from life... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Don G. Shull