I was surprised to learn that The River is the first book that Michael Neale has written. The plot, language, and themes were those I would expect from a more seasoned author. The poetic language made it a pleasure to curl up with and to escape from the busyness of my world for a couple of afternoons.
This novel tells the story of a young boy, Gabriel, whose father tragically dies in a river accident. From that point on, Gabriel is afraid of the water, afraid of new things, risk, and even other people. As he grows up, however, “The River” keeps calling him back with its beauty, its excitement, its danger, and its mystery, eventually leading him to discover his purpose in life.
The novel drew me in from the first page with compelling characters and a storyline that made me want to just keep reading. I loved how the author personified “The River” as one who knew Gabriel better than he knew himself and as a path that he was destined to follow. This was a book that I was sad to see end, but it left me with thoughts to chew on.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.