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Where the River Ends Paperback – June 23, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1ST edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780767926997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767926997
  • ASIN: 0767926994
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There’s sweet and sensitive, then there’s downright saccharine. Martin’s vapid tale of a young husband who will go to the ends of the earth to grant his dying wife her final wish is a work of unabashed romanticism and heartbreaking sadness that requires readers to suspend disbelief and simply ride the high current of emotion. When starving artist Doss Michaels interrupts the rape-in-progress of supermodel Abbie Coleman in a Charleston park, he sets in motion a fairy-tale love story. Then, a decade into their storybook marriage, during a year spent visiting European art galleries, thanks to five-figure commissions for Doss, Abbie discovers a lump in her breast, the herald of virulent cancer. With seemingly only days left to live, she makes Doss fulfill a promise to repeat their honeymoon trip canoeing down a river in the wilds of Georgia. The arduous journey is rife with Deliverance-style malevolence as Doss and Abby fight off would-be gang rapists (again!), dodge a hurricane, and employ a bush pilot and defrocked priest to help them. Martin’s jejune and hackneyed sixth novel is being touted as his “mainstream debut,” and it may well appeal to fans of Nicholas Sparks, Robert James Waller, and Richard Paul Evans. --Carol Haggas --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Lovers of love stories, get ready to cry you a ‘River.’”„ŸUSA TODAY

“This tale is a pleasure to read because it eloquently pictures unquestioning, steadfast love.” „ŸFayetteville Observer

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I look forward to reading more of his books.
Shelby B.
The characters were believable, and the story was touching on so many levels.
Tina Koral
I laugh, I cry, and at the end of the book, I wish there was more!
J. Everett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on July 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
WHERE THE RIVER ENDS, Charles Martin's sixth novel following his award-winning CHASING FIREFLIES, is a touching story of love and loss, set with rich detail against the backdrop of Charleston and the St. Mary's River.

Doss Michaels is a fishing guide and starving artist trying to eke out a living in a small studio in Charleston. A chance encounter with beautiful model Abigail "Abbie" Grace Coleman leads to a 10-year blissful marriage, but when Abbie becomes terminally ill, their lives fall apart. Abbie's once-flawless model's physique is ravaged by cancer, and her strength drains until she's counting her time left in weeks, if not days. On her wish list of 10 things to do before she dies is a 130-mile trip down the St. Mary's River, and Doss promises her they will accomplish it. Despite her father's threats (he wants her to be in the hospital), Doss and Abbie embark on the excursion. Hurricane season looms, which lends urgency and tension as the story progresses.

Martin tells his slow-paced tale well, and competently handles the difficult task of flashing back and forth in time in alternate chapters to tell the story of Doss and Abbie's courtship and their present-day trip down the St. Mary's. Doss and Abby meet with a fair share of hardship and challenges on their epic journey. Fans of the author will find the lavish descriptions of small towns, rivers and rural roads in WHERE THE RIVER ENDS in keeping with his eye for detail in his previous novels, including lots of precise descriptions about the St. Mary's River. As in his past efforts, Martin incorporates subtle faith themes that flow as naturally as the currents of the river.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 29, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Water can be a metaphor. In many religions and religious ceremonies water is utilized to symbolize the power of cleansing and/or the life sustaining properties for those who drink from its well. A river can depict a smooth and placid picture or conversely can illustrate a trajectory of tumult and uncertainty. So it is with WHERE THE RIVER ENDS, a story that depicts what happens to a couple from diverse backgrounds when the undertow and turbulence of life coupled with an unforeseen act of fate alters the course of their future and, like the waters of an ever moving river, changes it forever. Author Charles Martin has chosen the old adage "The course of true love never runs smoothly" as the foundation on which to erect his metaphoric tale.

A combination of THE BUCKET LIST, GROUNDHOG DAY and LOVE STORY, this is a chronicle of memories, human frailty, unbreakable bonds and second chances. Touching in places, melodramatic in others this book will definitely not appeal to the realists of the world. This is a melancholy, yet romantic, two handkerchief narrative for those who believe that beauty can be found in the most unlikely places, that love and memory can overcome the pain of loss, and that forgiveness is the most powerful and healing of all of the conscious choices a person can make.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Henriksen on July 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You have to have "heart and soul" to fully appreciate Charles Martin's books. This one is no exception. The way he melds the winding river with life and death is riveting. I really loved this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chrissy Larson on July 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was taken in by this story. When the the "C" word knocks on your door, it is an overwhelming shock which throws life into a tailspin. Most people consider the victim of the cancer. But cancer hits the whole family, especially the spouse. I learned the true meaning of "for better or for worse" as well as, "in sickness and in health." Charles Martin truly describes this reality. In "Where the River Ends" we follow Doss Michaels as he risks all for the love of his life, cheering him on all the way to the mouth of the St. Marys River. Unlike many authors who tell us a good story, Martin has the unusual knack of showing us. Just as his main character knows how to create something beautiful with canvas and paint, Charles Martin paints a beautiful picture of unconditional love with paper and pen. This is a must read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Hamilton on October 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Admittedly, I'm a huge fan of Charles Martin. I've enjoyed all his books, some more than others. I was a bit disappointed with this one in that the story seemed so similar to his earlier novel, The Dead Don't Dance. As others have written, this story was a little unbelievable at times and descriptions of the river a little too much. Still, I enjoy just reading his style of writing. And I love the quirky characters that play supporting roles, like the shotgun toting toothless woman they meet on the river. Abbie's comments often had me laughing out loud. One thing I wished for was a map of the river, maybe on the inside cover. It would have made it more interesting to follow their path down the river.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Bickar on July 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charles Martin paints pictures with just the right words like his hero, Doss, learned to paint pictures with his heart.

This is a story of two people who become what they are at the core of how they were raised and the people who gave them birth. The love was a whispered wave throughout, and the characters were ones you will not soon forget. The old woman they meet on their canoe trip is an example of a character painted on paper.

At times sad, and at times funny, it is a dream for those harboring a terrible disease. A story of a simple love between two different people. The conquering of outside influences move the reader from page to page as they canoe down the river.

Charles Martin presents another heart felt novel that brings readers to express their emotions as they read. It is a story you will not want to end.
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