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Two Rivers [Kindle Edition]

T. Greenwood
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Book Description

T. Greenwood's new novel is a powerful, haunting tale of enduring love, destructive secrets, and opportunities that arrive in disguise . . .

In Two Rivers, Vermont, Harper Montgomery is living a life overshadowed by grief and guilt. Since the death of his wife, Betsy, twelve years earlier, Harper has narrowed his world to working at the local railroad and raising his daughter, Shelly, the best way he knows how. Still wracked with sorrow over the loss of his life-long love and plagued by his role in a brutal, long-ago crime, he wants only to make amends for his past mistakes.

Then one fall day, a train derails in Two Rivers, and amid the wreckage Harper finds an unexpected chance at atonement. One of the survivors, a pregnant fifteen-year-old girl with mismatched eyes and skin the color of blackberries, needs a place to stay. Though filled with misgivings, Harper offers to take Maggie in. But it isn't long before he begins to suspect that Maggie's appearance in Two Rivers is not the simple case of happenstance it first appeared to be.

"TWO RIVERS is a dark and lovely elegy, filled with heartbreak that turns itself into hope and forgiveness. I felt so moved by this luminous novel." --Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author

"Two Rivers is a convergence of tales, a reminder that the past never washes away, and yet, in T. Greenwood's delicate handling of time gone and time to come, love and forgiveness wait on the other side of what life does to us and what we do to it. This novel is a sensitive and suspenseful portrayal of family and the ties that bind." --Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever and River of Heaven

"The premise of TWO RIVERS is alluring: the very morning a deadly train derailment upsets the balance of a sleepy Vermont town, a mysterious girl show up on Harper Montgomery's doorstep, forcing him to dredge up a lifetime of memories--from his blissful, indelible childhood to his lonely, contemporary existence. Most of all, he must look long and hard at that terrible night twelve years ago, when everything he held dear was taken from him, and he, in turn, took back. T. Greenwood's novel is full of love, betrayal, lost hopes, and a burning question: is it ever too late to find redemption?" - Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of The Effects of Light and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize-winning Set Me Free

"From the moment the train derails in the town of Two Rivers, I was hooked. Who is this mysterious young stranger named Maggie, and what is she running from? In Two Rivers, T. Greenwood weaves a haunting story in which the sins of the past threaten to destroy the fragile equilibrium of the present. Ripe with surprising twists and heart-breakingly real characters, Two Rivers is a remarkable and complex look at race and forgiveness in small-town America." --Michelle Richmond, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Year of Fog and No One You Know

"Two Rivers is a stark, haunting story of redemption and salvation. T. Greenwood portrays a world of beauty and peace that, once disturbed, reverberates with searing pain and inescapable consequences;this is a story of a man who struggles with the deepest, darkest parts of his soul, and is able to fight his way to the surface to breathe again. But also--maybe more so--it is the story of a man who learns the true meaning of family: When I am with you, I am home. A memorable, powerful work." --Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Praise for T. Greenwood's Novels

Undressing The Moon

"This beautiful story, eloquently told, demands attention. Highly recommended." –Library Journal (starred review)

"Greenwood has skillfully managed to create a novel with unforgettable characters, finely honed descriptions, and beautiful imagery." –Book Street USA

"A lyrical, delicately affecting tale." –Publishers Weekly

Nearer Than The Sky

"Greenwood is an assured guide through this strange territory;she has a lush, evocative style." –The New York Times Book Review

"Greenwood writes with grace and compassion about loyalty and betrayal, love and redemption in this totally absorbing novel about daughters and mothers." –Ursula Hegi, author of Stones from the River

"A complicated story of love and abuse told with a directness and intensity that packs a lightning charge." –Booklist

Breathing Water

"A vivid, somberly engaging first book." –Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove

"A poignant, clear-eyed first novel. . .filled with careful poetic description. . .the story woven skillfully." –The New York Times Book Review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this evocative novel of redemption, Greenwood (Undressing the Moon) finds humanity and redemption in the life of a smalltown widower and his legacy of guilt. In 1980, 12 years after his involvement in the murder of a black man, railroad worker Harper Montgomery is still living under a cloud of guilt. Alternating between past and present, Harper's narrative reveals bit by bit the circumstances of the crime, as well as the long-devoted lover Harper was, and the caring father he's become. Harper's narrative makes a mystery of much: we know he participated in the murder, but not why. We know his wife died, but not how. Already struggling to raise his daughter, Shelly, further questions surround his decision to take in pregnant teen Maggie. As the past catches up the present, however, Harper's grave fears give way to unexpected and poignant developments. Greenwood is a writer of subtle strength, evoking smalltown life beautifully while spreading out the map of Harper's life, finding light in the darkest of stories. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 571 KB
  • Print Length: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Books (January 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001QL5N8G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,698 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Rivers.Too Much February 10, 2009
Two Rivers, by Greenwood, is a well intentioned novel that gets it right in many ways. The characters are well developed and the sense of 60's nostalgia is often right on.The theme of guilt and forgiveness is depicted through Harper's story told in present and flashback mode.Harper must pick up his life and raise his daughter after losing the love of his life in childbirth. He must wrestle with guilt over a life changing incident involving a racial murder. Into this mix comes Maggie, a pregnant teenager, who appears in Harper's life after a train wreck in Two Rivers.All of these elements come into play in Harper's journey of life. At times it is just too much..........too many components intertwining.........too many extremes.......60's housewives forced into insanity by the doldrums of being homemakers..........the tragedy of civil rights involvement.........the interminable angst of first unrequited love......the horrors of Vietnam involvement and the Pacifist movement...........all of these themes are played out in the extreme in Greenwood's novel. Even though I found these extremes to be negatives at times, they do provide lots of material for a good book discussion.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for book clubs January 14, 2009
By ellie
This is one of a very few books that, when I was finished reading, I immediately wanted to talk with someone else who had also read it. I have yet to find anyone who has read it, but that will soon change, because I am sharing it with everyone I know who likes an intelligent, thoughtful book. The twist at the end surprised me, but looking back I realized how masterfully she crafted the book and wondered why I didn't pick up on the clues. Reading the questions at the end also made me realize some other aspects of the book I hadn't thought of on my own. I can't wait for one of my friends to finish this so we can have a discussion over a cup of coffee! I plan on reading any other books by the same author.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Past Mistakes... March 26, 2009
In a small town, a blip on the map really, lies Two Rivers, Vermont. So small that everyone seems to know everyone and secrets are hard to keep.

Twelve-years have gone by since the death of Harper Montgomery's wife, Betsy. Leaving behind their only daughter, Shelly, for Harper to raise on his own. Harper still grieves the loss of his wife. He lives his life taking care of his daughter to the best of his abilities and working at the local railroad. The guilt he feels for something he did years ago eats away at him.

So when a train derails one fateful day, leaving many dead, he finds among the wreckage and destruction, a colored, pregnant fifteen year-old girl all alone. With her mother dead and no where else to go, she asks Harper if she can stay with him. Harper feels that this may be his chance for atonement. What he does not realize is that her being in Two Rivers was not by chance.

TWO RIVERS by T. Greenwood was a fascinating story. Greenwood told the story in great detail making the reader truly understand the story better. I thought the story was well-written and it kept my attention throughout the novel. This was a very good read.

Reviewed by Leona R.
APOOO BookClub
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Rivers, one great book November 3, 2009
I'm not entirely sure what it was about this book that made me bring it home from the's just not the kind of description that would typically draw me in. But wow. Wow.
Two Rivers has quickly become a new favorite. The story is broken into chapters that alternate between telling the story of Harper growing up in love with his neighbor Betsy from an early age, one night that changed everything, and his current life, up to the point where they all come together.
I'm always a sucker for a good twist, and this novel doesn't disappoint. Nothing is quite what you first imagined and each thing you assume to be fact is shattered in the end. There are no lies, just simple truths that lead your mind to believe things which are, in fact, false.
A quick and easy read with beautiful imagery and lyrical writing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Harper Montgomery works at the railroad station and lives conservatively with his daughter, Shelly. He's still grieving his wife's death, twelve years ago and is raising his daughter by himself, doing the best that he can.

One day, he's informed of a train derailment in Two Rivers, Vermont. There are people still trapped in the train. Harper runs to the train and goes into the river, then climbs into one of the train cars but isn't able to help anyone. Back on the shore, he sees a young girl with " the color of blackberries." Her clothes are wet from the river and she needs a place to stay.

Harper remembers an event connected to his wife's death and permits her to move into his small home with his daughter. Later, it turns out that the girl is expecting a child and came to Two Rivers looking for her brother. Harper fears what this might mean.

This plot driven novel dwells on Harper's turmoil throughout the book. He's guilty of an incident that happened long ago and his melancholy mood becomes depressing to read. It feels as if he should get counseling and move on with his life.

The setting in rural Vermont is well described and picturesque.
However, the gloomy mood of the novel took prevented a more enjoyable read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story.
Good story. Kept me interested and anxious to get to the next chapter.
Published 24 days ago by Beth Dumala
5.0 out of 5 stars Believable and Beautiful
As a child of the 60s, (I was born in 1947,) I found Tammy Greenwood captured much of what I remember of those times in her book, Two Rivers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Douglas Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great review of the 1960's-1970's history. Lived that era as a teenager/young adult. Brought back lots of memories.
Published 1 month ago by Sherry Lynn
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome relief after Rapture of Canaan
This book was an easy read, yet had enough meat to it to make for some good discussion. The plot twists were predictable, but the characters were well written.
Published 2 months ago by Susan H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good coming of age story.
This was a free book I got for my kindle. I am never sure what to expect from these books. This one was a good story about a man who has to face his past told in chapters... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bradley Hoehn
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Rivers review
I loved this book because it kept you in suspense from the very beginning until the very end. What a surprise ending!!
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing for me
Loved the first of this author's books I read, however, I found this story a bit disjointed. First of all, its difficult for me to wrap my head around the murder of a young man... Read more
Published 5 months ago by outleft in NV
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly moving love story of redemption, racial tension, loss, love,...
Another winner and page-turner by T. Greenwood! Once again, this talented author knows how to tell a powerful, and beautifully written heartwarming story! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Judith D. Collins
3.0 out of 5 stars Small, Sweet, Simple
If you can get past the coincidences that make the book a bit trite, you'll find a sweet, simple story. It's just a nice read, not all that memorable, however. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joan
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Rivers a Smash for Movie
This book was very true to the times we live in and is a great love story unfolding, although suttle, the ending was unseen, you know how you think you know the ending, greenwood... Read more
Published 6 months ago by LaVada Hill
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More About the Author

T. Greenwood is the author of eight novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. TWO RIVERS was named 2009 Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and GRACE received the same award for 2012. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks; THIS GLITTERING WORLD was a January 2011 selection, and GRACE was a selection in April 2012. Her eighth novel, BODIES OF WATER, was released in October 2013.

She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer's Ink, Grossmont College, and online for The Writer's Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters. She is also an aspiring photographer.

More information on T. Greenwood can be found at her website: and her blogs: and

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