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The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, & the Amazon Queen by [Dawson, Mary E.]
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The River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, & the Amazon Queen Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...This book hits the bull's-eye ... more than just an adolescent thrill ride or a 'coming of age' story.  I almost felt as if at times I was there amidst the characters, soaking up the lush surroundings.  By far, one of the best history lessons I have ever had the privilege of taking.    - Glen Marcus for MBR

"...an adventure of epic proportions sure to ignite the imaginations of readers old or young!" --tometenderblogspot.com
 
"Some might compare this story to Mark Twain's 'Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn', and rightly so. ...  But I found it to be more of a history lesson, with endearing and well-written characters to carry us on a wonderful journey. ... I would recommend this story to be used as a textbook in all Florida history classes."   - Magnolia Blossom Review
"...the ending arrives much too quickly." --Gary Stout Garywstout.com
 
"A nostalgic novel with an environmental message that illuminates the book without distracting in any way from the fun." --Blogcritics blogcritics.org
 
"This is a remarkably well-told tale that brings the past to life. The characters are incredibly real and it is easy to join in their joys, sorrows, fear, and excitement." --Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite readersfavorite.com
 

"Filled with a strong story, wonderful imagery, and well developed characters, the book paints a vivid picture of the time with a solid mix of history, the clash of different cultures, the still prevalent issues of inequality across race, gender, and mindset..." --Gary Stout Garywstout.com

From the Author

Fall in love with the Florida that used to be.

One of the reasons I wrote "The River Way Home" was to let people experience what the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon were like before human beings dredged the canals that connect them and the Caloosahatchee River to Lake Okeechobee.

Florida's natural systems of wetlands and lakes originally cleansed the runoff from Central Florida by draining it slowly down the Kissimmee Valley through Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. Today, that water flushes through the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, polluting them all, while the Everglades starve.

It's my hope that everyone who reads "The River Way Home" will get to know the rivers that used to be, fall in love with them as I have, and join the fight to save them and the Everglades.  There has to be a better answer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2511 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: WRB Publishing; 1 edition (December 31, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 31, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CKASPE6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,698 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Readers who love "A Time Remembered" by Patrick Smith will be delighted with The River Way Home." Mary Dawson's novel captures the pristine beauty of Florida before big development hit. Her lyrical prose and deep love for the environment infuse a wonderful story that engages from the opening sentence to the final conclusion. Historical photos add another layer of interest. "The River Way Home" is destined to be a favorite book that readers will visit many times. Memorable, entertaining and a must read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I feel I must begin with a confession. Although I have never met Mary Dawson, my own mother was a young girl on the frontier in 1914, when the train first came through Cokeville Wyoming, and as a child my own grandmother told me true stories of encounters with real bank robbers. So the plot of The River Way home, which has been summarized so well already by other reviewers, had a special and personal meaning to me.

The book is very real. The prologue of the cowboy telling a story by the campfire took me back to other similar campfires of my youth, and I was "hooked". I also had visited southern Florida as a young teenager, and visited Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, and untouched parts of the Everglades and the Keys, which magnified the vividness of the scenes as they rapidly unfolded.

The interplay and role reversals as the three young teenagers run into countless threats and challenges is amazing. Each takes leadership or gives critical insights based upon their individual cultural backgrounds, experience and training. The tremendous differences and diversity between the three of them repeatedly turn out to be their greatest strengths as they meet and overcome a myriad of challenges.

Part of the book's greatness is the subtle moral lessons it conveys without ever preaching. I would like to say that the book presents another interesting conflict arising out of our traditional cultural American idealization of bandits and desperadoes, but to even point this out makes me guilty of preaching.

Suffice it to say that the images of the storm, the swamps, the alligator attack, the night in the tree, the beautiful waterways, fishing trip, and even the train are the stuff that would make a great Disney movie.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is historical fiction, based on the events, the land, and its people a century ago in the Lake Okeechobee region of Florida. Three teenage protagonists, a black girl, a white boy, and an Indian boy, are the vehicle for the story. Their adventures - everything from fighting an alligator to confronting the infamous bank robbing Ashley gang, are vivid and believable. It is reminiscent of Huck Finn and his buddy, Jim the runaway slave, on the Mississippi.

For young readers, it is not only an exploration into what life was like on this southern frontier, but an interesting insight into social interaction. How the youngsters related to each other, and to a variety of strangers, is an education.

The epilog/addendum to the story is non-fiction. It is a history of the people and places that shaped Florida. The characters are based on those real people and events. The photos and text of this portion of the book alone are worth the price of admission.

As a lifetime writer/editor, I set the bar of literary expectation high. This book has earned its five star rating.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just turned the last page of this book. And, what can I tell you that other reviewers haven’t mentioned already? This book reminded me what it’s like to be a kid, and to dream of grandiose adventures in a world that is full of wildness, wonder, and possibilities. We are so conditioned in this age to wait for the “nightmare” to come out and grab us in current fiction. And, so I waited. And, I waited some more. The fun adventure never turned into a horrible nightmare. Because of this it gave me the ability to relax and really enjoy the mischief that the kids got into along the way.

And, although to some, it might have seemed that the tight situations might have been tall tales stretched a bit too long. But for anyone who has lived in Florida, they might say most of what the kids did seemed like it could have happened. I did live there in the early 1970s through the 1980s. The storms are brutal and frightening, the Everglades were wild, the gators were scary, and I did have occasion to run from the boogie man more than a few times. It’s a bit hard to envision all of this from the big cities of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, but if you go upstate toward the middle—at least back then—you could see how the landscape and the people changed. It was a whole different world that could really give you a glimpse of this untamed wild Florida we see in the book.

So, what if the story is a yarn told by an old grisly cowboy camped out around a fire on a clear starry night? Isn’t that what we are missing these days--just a good old fashioned story to tickle the imagination, and lend a person to believe that their hopes and dreams might come true? That’s what this book was--just a marvelous tale—unique, unlike any I’ve read in a long time.
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