Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review: River's Call by Melody Carlson

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"Anna Larson's daughter, Lauren, is confused, brokenhearted, and misguided. It's the turbulent 1960s and, feeling alienated from her mother, Lauren chooses to stay with her paternal grandmother. However, repelled by the woman's manipulative and spiteful ways, Lauren returns to her mother, the river, and the Inn at Shining Waters.

There, Lauren begins to appreciate the person her mother is becoming--and she loves the river. However, romantic interests throw a wrench into the works and Lauren, jealous and angry, returns to her grandmother yet again.

But as time passes, Lauren, now a mother to her own defiant teenager, faces a new crisis--one that puts the entire family at risk."

River's Call was my first try of author Melody Carlson and I found it to be an enjoyable read. First off the bat, it is set in the "turbulent 1960's"- a time period that is fascinating. I enjoyed reading familiar references to bell-bottoms and tie-dye shirts. Second, her writing was as smooth as the river that has almost a character-like position in this story. Third, the story-line kept me turning the pages and it was emotionally involving.

Anna was an enjoyable character. Her strength, her ability to forgive, and her unconditional love were admirable traits. Lauren, her daughter, was much harder to like. I couldn't relate to her and she acted like a spoiled, lazy child. Towards the end of the book, however, my dislike turned into pity. Her emotional and physical progress at the end of the book was much waited for.

The fact that faith was not a prevalent element in River's Call was disappointing, to say the least. Especially considering the topic Melody focused on in the book. And the few references about God felt forced. I also disliked that Melody kept referring to Lauren's circumstance as a mistake when it clearly wasn't. However, I did enjoy that Melody kept the book completely clean. Overall, this was an entertaining, heart-stirring book. Because of the cliff-hanger ending, I am looking forward to the third installment in this series- though if your looking to be spiritually edified, I would not recommend it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It can be bought at Amazon.

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