River's Song, Inn at Shining Waters Series #1   -     By: Melody Carlson
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River's Song, Inn at Shining Waters Series #1

Abingdon Press / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

Following her mother's funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents' belongings, as well as her own turbulent life. Her relationship with her daughter is in shambles, and the tension between Anna and her vicious mother-in-law escalates daily.

Anna's unique family home sits on a picturesque coastal tributary and is filled with years of memories. For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage and river roots. But Anna soon learns that more than just her past resides along the banks of the Siuslaw River. By transforming her old family home into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing-a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781426712661
Availability: In Stock
Series: Inn at Shining Waters

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Publisher's Description

Sometimes when we look back, we are able to see ahead.

Author Bio

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 200 books, including Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon, Limelight, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, Melody is also the author of Homeward, which won a Rita Award. Melody and her husband live in central Oregon.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

As Anna Larson has to do in Melody Carlson's book River’s Song, sometimes we all have to start new in old and familiar places. In the beginning of this novel, Anna returns to her childhood home by the river for her mother's funeral, unhappy and unsatisfied with her life. Living with her cruel mother-in-law and her apathetic, spoiled daughter, Anna feels like a doormat. She is constantly looked down upon by her mother-in-law, Eunice, for being of Native American descent. Returning to the river changes everything.

Anna learns to appreciate her heritage and her old home thanks to her return. She meets an unexpected friend, Hazel, who asks to study Anna's Native American artifacts that belonged to Anna's grandmother. Hazel gives Anna the idea to turn her property into an inn. Anna begins construction on her property and meets Hazel's son, Clark, who works as Anna's contractor. As the building begins, so begins her healing while finding new meaning to her life. Anna comes to the realization that the river is where she belongs. She learns to face her mother-in-law, and she mends the almost nonexistent relationship with her daughter, Lauren. She finds love and finds what it means to be truly happy. Even when she has almost no money and no one to rely on, she finds comfort in God. Genesis 50:21 says, "So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." This novel shows a great example of this; when you rely on the Lord, He will provide for you in His own timing.

River's Song is easy to read with drama, love, and heartache all in one. Anna relies on God to take care of her when she has nowhere else to turn. The plot is a little slow at times, but overall this book encompasses a moving story. – Hannah Guske, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

In this opener for the Inn at Shining Waters series, it's 1959 and Anna Larson, a widow with a spoiled teenage daughter and a nasty mother-in-law, returns to the home where she grew up following her mother's funeral. Her relationships are complex for personal and social reasons: Anna is half Native American, but her late mother turned away from the family heritage, and her mother-in-law is racist and condescending. Back where she started, Anna begins to re-examine her past, her family, and her heritage, aided by assorted locals and the healing Siuslaw River, which, according to native legend, holds stars that make it shine. Carlson (Limelight) has a real gift for propelling a story forward, and she has a nice feel for the Oregon countryside, where she lives. There are problems: mother-in-law Eunice is more caricature than character, and the plotting relies on some significant coincidences (for example, Anna happens to meet a friendly anthropologist while canoeing). But Carlson's many fans will enjoy this one and await the next canoe trip. (Aug.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. Toronto, Ontario
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    June 2, 2012
    Radiolady
    Toronto, Ontario
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I loved the coming full circle in this story....embracing and not denying who you are! Looking forward to the sequel!
  2. Ohio
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Good read
    April 16, 2012
    Mazy
    Ohio
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Very good reading - I'm looking forward to book #2!
  3. Lisle, IL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Melody Carlson - enough said
    December 23, 2011
    luv2readjen
    Lisle, IL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Anna left the river to live with her husband, and then life happened, and she didn't return until her mother died. As her tale is unveiled, it becomes increasingly clear that the river offers a peace and relaxation that she hadn't known in quite some time. As she comes to terms with her heritage, she also starts to find healing.

    Melody Carlson has a way of telling a story that keeps you engaged from first page to last. Her stories of women are insightful and honest, while still being gentle and comforting. Since she also writes books for teen girls, her ability to transcend time with her characters is engaging. She has a depth of insight into people that would be hard to convey in person, and yet she is able to write story after story about people in a way that makes you wish you knew them.

    This book is the first of a new trilogy called "The Inn at Shining Waters." I cannot wait to read the next one, so that I can spend more time with Anna. These are great stories with a touch of faith injected that makes them even more real. Read them and enjoy!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
  4. Southern California
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Kept my interest through the whole story.
    August 25, 2011
    Janet Mcgee
    Southern California
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I will pass this book on to friends and family. It was a good use of my reading time.
  5. Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    A new series with promise
    August 17, 2011
    Millstreetreader
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Several years ago I read Finding Alice by Melody Carlson, a story about a young college student who exhibits signs of schizophrenia, but believes she is having visions. I finished the book thinking I would find more books by Carlson to read, but just never did until I got the opportunity to read an advanced reader's copy of River's Song, book one in a new series set in the northwest. I recently checked Carlson's website and found she is a prolific writer with modern day series and historical fiction series, both for women and children. The deep subject of Finding Alice appears to be a unique endeaver as the rest of her books appear to be lighter reading, and River's Song definitely fits the quick read category.

    That said, River's Song is an enchanting read that took this midwestern reader to a new setting, somewhat reminsicent of 1950's and 1960's northern Wisconsin. Anna Larson has returned to the coast of Oregon to deal with her parent's closed up "Mom and Pop" store at the Siuslaw River's edge following her mother's death. For years, Anna has stayed away from her childhood home to shelter her mother from the reality that Anna is trapped in a joyless life orchestrated by her domineering, bigoted mother-in-law. For the first time in decades, Anna feels hope and peace as she spends time on the river. Quickly her life becomes populated with supportive friends, old and new, and with their assistance Anna decides to transform the abandoned store into The Inn at Shining Water. Carlson skillfully uses the relationship between Anna and the minor characters to unravel the story of Anna's heritage as a Siuslaw Indian, her tragic marriage to a rich, impulsive white man, and the bigotry she's faced at her mother-in-law's hand since her young husband's death. Being already deceased, Anna's mother and grandmother are two of the most richly developed characters in the story. You'll feel their presence and their values behind every one of Anna's choices.

    I plan to read the next book in this series when it is published, and now that I've read more than one book by Melody Carlson, I'll be watching to see her other endeavors
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