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Two Rivers Paperback – January 1, 2009

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Two Rivers + Undressing The Moon + Nearer Than The Sky
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758228775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758228772
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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. THE FOREVER BRIDGE will be released in February 2015.

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

Customer Reviews

This book is one of those jewels where you'll want to turn the pages and never stop until the very end.
I thought this book was well written, had interesting and developed characters, and was a very good story - with an unexpected twist near the end.
Letty Schamp
Once again, this talented author knows how to tell a powerful, and beautifully written heartwarming story!
Judith D. Collins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Carol A. Sym on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By ellie on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By L. Romich VINE VOICE on March 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By Lastbeautflgirl on November 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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