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
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