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Time Is a River (Indie Next Pick) Paperback

4.4 out of 5 stars 341 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Monroe delivers another novel of strong Southern women, and though this one has its share of weak moments, the author's love for her characters is palpable throughout. Mia Landan, a cancer survivor, returns to Charleston after a fly-fishing retreat and finds her husband in bed with another woman. Shocked, Mia rushes back to the mountains where she'd been fishing and seeks the help of fly fisherman Belle Carson, who offers her the use of a ramshackle cabin for the summer. Upon Mia's first trip into town, she learns why the cabin looks like it hasn't been opened in years—it's where Kate Watkins, Belle's grandmother, allegedly murdered her lover. But after Mia conveniently finds Kate's diary tucked away in the cabin, she becomes determined to get to the bottom of things, despite Belle's warnings not to stir up the mud. Through a series of occasionally contrived diary entries, flashbacks and folksy recollections from locals, the narrative juxtaposes Kate's story with Mia's self-discovery, and while the predictable ending results from implausibly convenient plot twists, Monroe's fans will still enjoy the author's spin on love, mystery and the power of self-determination. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Breast cancer survivor Mia Landan returns home to find her husband in bed with another woman. Still weak from the cancer treatments, and not ready to make decisions about her failed marriage, Mia asks Belle Carson, a fly-fishing guide and the head of Casting for Recovery, if she can stay in Belle’s isolated mountain cabin. At first, the solitude isn’t easy, and Mia has to overcome some major fears. Her real healing begins after she discovers the long-forgotten diary of Kate Watkins, a controversial woman ahead of her time, who used to live in the cabin. Kate loved fly-fishing, too, and, guided by her journal, Mia begins to get in touch with the mountains, the wildlife, the river, and herself. A broken woman rediscovers her sense of self-worth in this moving work by a writer known for her lyrical writing style and love of the environment (The Four Seasons, 2004). Monroe once again treats her readers to lush descriptions of nature in this exquisite, many-layered novel of an unsolved mystery, an obsession, a reconciliation, and a little romance. --Shelley Mosley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002PJ4IP2
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to admit this is the first novel I've read by this author. In addition, for the last several years, as I've approached a certain age (I'm 61), I've tended to veer away from "reality" in my choice of reading materials and gone more for "fantasy", i.e., romance novels (hey, don't knock them until you try them), alternate universe stuff and books filled with mythical creatures. I love a good vampire story (maybe the age thing again, although I loved vampires even as a kid, oh well).

Anyway, this book. I wanted something different and this book delivered. Mia is "everywoman", despite the fact that not all of us have had to battle cancer. I wondered initially whether I could relate, and boy did I. I also wondered as I started the book whether this was going to be a female "ripoff" of A River Runs Through It". Well, I needn't have worried. It's anything but. It stands completely on its own. There is so much good stuff in this book including the fact that it is filled with wonderful, memorable characters.

It was lovely (and completely believable as written) to find a book full of people wanting to "help", as Mia struggles to realistically view her life and marriage before and after the cancer, and the truth of both, and to unravel the decades old mystery of the family the town is named after. Her journey is inspiring in so many ways, simply in recognizing her humanity, aside from the cancer survivor stuff.

It's hard to discuss the story itself because I don't want to reveal too much. This is a story that deserves to be savored.
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Format: Hardcover
With the rise in cancer statistics and a world in turmoil, I believe we all have a deep seated urge to seek refuge with our friends, family, and when those aren't available, this novel reminds us of the solace in nature and our imaginations. I just finished, "Time is a River", and found the experience of a safe place through the power of Monroe's beautiful language and gift of storytelling. And this is a tough topic to write about; every woman's greatest fear, the loss of health, strength and her family. And even if we do have a more viable support system, let's face it, we have to walk down those corridors of fear alone. Monroe helps dispel those fears.
I believe that this book satisfies every persons dream of living "away from it all", in a cabin, by a beautiful river, with something to keep our mind off ourselves; and here it is the fascinating and unlikely sport of fly fishing. Wow, I really want to try it out! But more importantly, Monroe's novel demonstrates the keys to recovery; acceptance, forgiveness and staying in the present. Nature, art, and relationship keeps all five senses alive and well in this very exciting tale of adventure and recovery. BTW, I "conveniently found" a time capsule in my house in St. Charles, IL., when we were renovating the attic. There were diaries, journals and homemade artifacts of a family 175 years ago. It was an awesome experience, and it happens! People leave things behind for others to find. Isn't that what art really is? Thank you Mary Alice Monroe for stirring up the mud of my imagination.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the novel Time Is a River Mia Landan flees to the mountains of North Carolina to seek solace and refuge. Recovering from breast cancer, she has returned to her Charleston home a day early from a "Casting for Recovery" retreat, to find her husband in bed with another woman.

Belle Carson, a fly-fishing guide from the retreat, offers her cabin in Watkins Cove, where Mia hopes to find out who she is now and what she should do next. Belle has never actually stayed in the cabin and isn't even sure she wants to keep it. She will be in Scotland for the summer; thus, the cabin is Mia's for the taking.

Wending beside the cabin and down into the woods, a river bubbles along. Fascinated by the timelessness of the river - even the colors that play in the light - Mia turns to it for comfort. She takes her few fly-fishing skills and attempts to hone them, seeking to become one with her body again, and as the author quotes an anonymous source - "The charm of fly-fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive, but attainable - a perpetual series of occasions for hope."

Inside the cabin, which is quite rustic, cobwebby, and jammed with assorted items, Mia plunges into the task of cleaning it up for her benefactor Belle. It was a cabin Belle inherited from her mother, and which belonged to her grandmother Kate Watkins. Kate was from a wealthy
family that lost its money in the 1929 stock market crash. She managed to keep the cabin and holed up there - where the townspeople gossiped that she entertained her married lover. Then there was a scandal and allegations that Kate had murdered her lover.
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