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Tomorrow River Hardcover – April 29, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (April 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951544
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set during the summer of '69 in rural Virginia, Kagen's stellar third novel, her first in hardcover, chronicles the dramatic changes in the lives of 11-year-old Shenny Carmody and her twin sister, Woody, nearly a year after their mother's disappearance. Woody hasn't spoken since, and their father, a renowned judge, spends most of his nights in a drunken stupor at Lilyfield, their Rockbridge County estate, often turning violent and cruel toward his two daughters. Shenny, adventurous and bright, takes it upon herself to locate their beloved Mama and discover why she left them. In her quest for the truth, Shenny learns many heart-wrenching lessons, not least among them that first impressions can be dead wrong. Kagen (Whistling in the Dark) not only delivers a spellbinding story but also takes a deep look into the mores, values, and shams of a small Southern community in an era of change. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"...the charming, genuine voice of Shenny, whose country-Southern dialect is beautifully rendered with rhythmic cadences, is impossible to resist...Overall, it's the tender bond between the twins that redeems the world from the cruelty around them and keeps you rooting for them right up until the end."
-Milwaukee Magazine

"Shenandoah leaps off the page in vivid color: sparky, resourceful, trying to cope...and doing it with the matter-of-fact, heartbreaking courage that kids learn when there's no other choice. This book is packed with warmth, wit, intelligence, images savory enough to taste-and deep dark places that are all the more terrible for being surrounded by so much brightness."
-Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods and The Likeness

"Be prepared for all your other obligations to be neglected when you begin Tomorrow River. I fell so deeply in love with the spunky, brave, broken- hearted Shenny and her fragile twin Woody that I couldn't rest or concentrate on anything else...Shenny warns us early on that first impressions 'can be dead wrong,' and that holds true to the last page of the novel. I was continually surprised, and as a reader that means continually delighted-a rare gift."
-Katrina Kittle, author of The Kindness of Strangers

Customer Reviews

Great character development and story lines.
Reads Alot
This book is full of humor, mystery, suspense, heartache, love, and many, many twists and turns.
Pamela A. Poddany
I've thoroughly enjoyed her novels and her latest, "Tomorrow River" is her best yet!
Mary Lins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Gayla M. Collins VINE VOICE on April 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Shenandoah Wilson and Jane Woodrow are 12 year old twin girls living in West Virginia with the Honorable Judge Walter Carmody and his Northern wife, Evelyn. Or at least until a year before when Evelyn went missing, leaving Woody(Jane Woodrow)terrified and mute, Shen(Shenandoah)protective and bewildered, and their father a drunken mess. Shen takes it upon herself to find out what has happened to her mother with the aid of many mysterious characters inciting a grand plot of intrigue and suspense. Carmody's have money and as they say, "it talks." The powerfulness of her father, her Grandpa, her Gramma and her Uncle Blackie plague her search, but she is made of tenacity and grit. I am loathe to say more as it might give some mystery away and I want the reader to have the pure pleasure of uncovering their own clues and their own solutions.

I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but it was an unputdownable mystery. Shen and Woody are two characters that will go down with the likes of Scout, Harry Potter, Button, Ellen Foster, and other time honored children protagonists. Lesley Kagan gives them magnificent form which is truthful, baring their strengths and weaknesses. The background of the Blue Ridge mountains and Southern folks is essential to the plot. The title "Tomorrow River" has such a beautiful conception it brought tears to my eyes.

There is some brutality of children so beware; I relate deeply to this plotline, but others may shy from it. The remaining love of a less than stellar parent touched me deeply. Lesley Kagan is especially thoughtful in her presentation with beautifully descriptive, fast-paced and page turning prose that honestly garners her "Tomorrow River "it's 5 star rating.

An aside; the cover is absoultely gorgeous.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )

I was delighted when VINE offered this book. Having read WHISTLING IN THE DARK and having yet to read LAND OF A HUNDERED WONDERS, I grabbed this one up. And am I glad that I did.

We meet 11 year old twins, Shenny and Woody, who live in a grand house named Lilyfield. Their young lives are full of family and love until one evening their mother disappears. Things take several turns for the worse, and their lives become a living hell.

After their mother's mysterious disapperance, Woody stops speaking. Their father, the Honorable Judge Walter Carmody, takes to drink and turns mean and abusive towards his daughters whom he once loved so dearly. Shenny vows to take care of Woody and protect her from their father and his father, their evil grandfather. Shenny also decides that no matter what she will find her mother and solve the mystery of her disapperance. Is her beloved mother dead? Has she run away? Is she in hiding somewhere? Has she taken off for parts unknown? Read this book and find out.

Shenny takes it upon her self to investigate the circumstances surrounding their mom's disapperance. She is a good little detective, getting help from their neighbor boy, E.J. who happens to be madly in love with Woody. The two kids find themselves in predicament after predicament as they get closer to finding out the truth. People aren't who they appear to be and the facts are not necessarily the facts. Tension and surprises abound as we find out who knows the truth and what took place that fateful night.

The characters in this book are very fleshed-out and life-like.
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Format: Hardcover
Kagan has written a terrible tale of loyalty, betrayal and murder, twin sisters in the Shenandoah Valley coping in their own ways with the disappearance of their mother the summer of 1968. Now it is the following summer and Woody has been mute since that night, unwilling or unable to speak, maybe carrying secrets that no child should ever harbor. Shenny Carmody is the more practical of the two, at twelve a self-professed "daddy's girl" who finds excuses for her father's increasing cruelty towards his daughters. She pities her father's condition, even the drunken rants, sympathetic to his emotional pain. A powerful judge, this man is not to be trifled with, especially for a peacemaker like Shenny. Ordered not to leave the grounds of Lilyfield, Shenny leads the girls on secret excursions to town, where she pieces together bits of information, certain that she will find her mother.

As the judge becomes more unpredictable and more violent, Shenny allows herself to consider the precariousness of their situation. With a domineering, openly racist grandfather and an irascible Uncle Blackie nearby, the circle is closing in, His Honor threatening to send Woody away to an institution. Against this background, Kagan fashions her story through the perceptions of a twelve-year-old girl, balancing between the past and she clings to and the reality of what she fears is the truth. Protecting Woody, finding their mother and appeasing their father has become an impossible task. And as the memories emerge through the long summer days, so does Shenny's awareness of her own willful blindness.

Though at times it is torturous to follow the reasoning of this conflicted young character, Kagan restricts the pace of the story to what is believable in the context of Shenny's imagination.
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More About the Author

Lesley Kagen is an actress, voice-over talent, former restaurateur, sought-after speaker, and award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of five previous novels. Her work has been translated into seven languages. A mother of two and grandmother of two, she lives in a hundred-year-old farm house in a small town in Wisconsin. Visit with her on Facebook and at her web site

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