Monday, September 22, 2008
After River by Donna Milner
I was given After River by a friend who passes along books that she has read and reviewed. I do the same for her and pass along old favourites as well. It is good to have such a friend. :)
The first page was quickly devoured and I moved right along into the story.
Brief synopsis: Natalie Ward hasn't returned home to live since she left at the age of 17 under a cloud. A draft dodger from America named Richard (River)camed to work on the family farm and affected every member of the Ward family.
Natalie is so tormented and I can feel her pain. The characters in this story feel so alive that they reach out and touch your heart. Farming families in rural Canada in the 60s were not like the families that we know nowadays. Everyone worked together for the common good of the family and to support the farm so the slightest deviation from the normal routines can have a domino effect and the whole family is forever changed.
I cannot believe that this was Donna Milner's first novel. She is supremely skilled with her plot, character development and every word feels lovingly crafted.
I believe that this novel is truly one of the best that I have read this year.
5 out of 5 stars.