This year I’ve challenged myself to read fifty books. This is no easy task for a slow reader, especially since so many other things distract me. Through this blog, I’ll share the books I’m reading and keep myself on track. Please feel free to offer suggestions of books you’ve enjoyed!

Book NThe River, A Novel   -     By: Michael Neale
umber 16:

The River


Michael Neale

This is a quick, simple read about a young boy named Gabe who witnesses the tragic death of his father and cannot shake the trauma caused by the life changing event.

Eventually, he is drawn to The River where he finds acceptance, peace, understanding, and adventure.

Although a heartwarming story which is allegorical, I found it predictable and unevenly written. Perhaps some of the events would seem less contrived if the author had developed the plot to explain the circumstances in more detail.

There were some lovely descriptions of the wilderness and the river as well as white river rafting. The story’s tension was mostly centered on Gabe’s anger and fears. He seldom takes action to resolve his own issues and is not a very strong character. The story also left many questions that could have been explored to flesh out the thin plot. What had happened between Gabes’ parents? Why didn’t Jacob, who claimed he always wanted a relationship with Gabe, seek him out?

The characters were nicely portrayed, though somewhat one-dimensional, and sometimes “preachy.” Every one of them seemed to be on Gabe’s side, except Gabe himself.

If you like a quick, sentimental read you will probably like The River.


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