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Two Rivers

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3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,261 Ratings  ·  368 Reviews
In Two Rivers, Vermont, Harper Montgomery is living a life overshadowed by grief and guilt. Since the death of his wife, Betsy, twelve years earlier, Harper has narrowed his world to working at the local railroad and raising his daughter, Shelly, the best way he knows how. Still wracked with sorrow over the loss of his life-long love and plagued by his role in a brutal, lo ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published January 2009 by Kensington Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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TL
Apr 14, 2015 TL rated it liked it
As always, T. Greenwood's style is lovely but in this one I kept gonig back and forth with. I was intrigued from the beginning, the prologue was promising and haunting... I was eager to see what would happens and how the guilt would affect his life.

The story itself was a good idea but lost it's way sometimes. The flashes between Harper's past and the present sometimes felt jarring and a few times I was reading one part before realizing it was a flash back to the past and not the present (then vi
...more
Crystal Craig
Nov 17, 2015 Crystal Craig rated it it was amazing
Beautiful -- everything about this book is beautiful. What first pulled me towards this book was the cover. It felt like a warm, summer day. It reminded me of sitting on the tail-gate of an old pickup truck just watching the summer grass blow in the wind. I read the back of the book and the plot was something I felt would be interesting. I’d never heard of the author, T. Greenwood, but, I gave it a try anyway.

The writing was amazing. The story jumps back and forth between the 1950's to 1980’s d
...more
Pamela Pickering
Apr 24, 2009 Pamela Pickering rated it liked it
3.25 Stars. Gosh, another hard one to review. If you read the synopsis of the book it is somewhat misleading, it leads the reader to expect most of the book to be about the relationship between Harper and Maggie (the girl from the train wreck) but it's really not. The book lends most of its time to Harper's relationship with the love of his life, Betsy. Many times I sighed that "Here we go again" noise when reading this. It's stated in the book that Harper was living in the shadows of his deceas ...more
Cathy
Feb 01, 2010 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
when I got my Kindle, I was pleased to find out that free books were offered for it .... then I got a look at the free books. I'm not really interested in evangelical Christian novels, romance, conspiracy-theory ranting, sexy vampires, or thriller series, so there was little that tempted me there.

Two Rivers is an exception (it was only free for about four hours, sadly). I downloaded it on the strength of the reviews already on the site and really enjoyed it. It's an atmospheric little novel that
...more
Judi/Judith Riddle
Mar 07, 2015 Judi/Judith Riddle rated it liked it
It is in the early 1980s Two Rivers, Vermont, that the story opens. Harper lives a simple life with his 12 year old daughter Shelly. He lost his wife to a violent crime shortly after his daughter was born and has never been the same since the horrendous tragedy. Nonetheless, he raises his daughter to his best ability but their lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired; for example, supper is given very little thought since it usually comes from a can. This is how they live, dreary day after day until ...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Jun 13, 2011 Melissa Crytzer Fry rated it really liked it
I had the honor of hearing T. Greenwood speak at the Flagstaff Book Festival this year, and her readings were phenomenal.

Her novel TWO RIVERS is told by male protagonist, Harper Montgomery, through alternating childhood and adulthood chapters. The majority of the story actually takes place in the past. It tackles some of the very difficult events woven into the fabric of America’s history: the Vietnam War, racism, women’s and civil rights. Ultimately, it is a love story with messages of forgive
...more
Alexandra
Apr 23, 2012 Alexandra rated it it was amazing
This book is another one that my librarian recommended to me last week. And I have to say, I think this is my favorite of 2012 thus far.
I could not put it down, I was so engrossed in the story. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.
It's hard to say why I loved it so much. Because thinking it over, it's actually a reallyreally sad story. The main character Harper is kind of one of those sad sack people that everything goes wrong for and nothing is ever easy. It all started when he wa
...more
Ana Mckee
Aug 29, 2009 Ana Mckee rated it it was amazing
This is a story about a man named Harper Montgomery who loses his love and the center of his world, his very being, in a matter of a few minutes. After Betsy's death, Harper is a broken man. He has been left with a baby daughter, that was born the night Betsy died,and the haunting memories a man with "skin the color of late summer blackberries" begging for his life. The story is set during the years of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war. Few people are unaffected from the violence and ...more
Denise MacDonald
Jul 03, 2013 Denise MacDonald rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Denise by: Crystal Craig
Shelves: favorites
This was a beautifully crafted story of love, loss, forgiveness and trying to move under very trying circumstances. It brought to the forefront how little we may really know about those people we call friends, family, enemies, or lovers. And how we may allow certain moments to define us and shape us. Small towns, rumors, secrets, mistakes, this novel had it all and mixed into that so many emotions- love, loss, revenge, fear, hopelessness. Most of all I think it was about how people will sacrific ...more
M
Oct 24, 2010 M rated it it was ok
The word I would use to describe this book is juvenile. It's a slightly better Nicholas Sparks sort of tale of true love such as never exists in real life happening to/at a couple of sixth graders, ending in tragedy, leading to angst, then a sudden visitor turns it all around.
Aside from the simplistic tale, the telling of it is trite as well. Alternating between past and present every other chapter is rarely anything but a gimmick and does not do much except align story lines so that chapter thr
...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Jan 24, 2009 Tattered Cover Book Store added it
Recommended to Tattered Cover by: IndieNext list
This is a beautifully written novel with a complex tapestry of family, racism, sociology, cultural matters,love, hate, past and present. The story bounces effortlessly back and forth between the mid 1950's to 1980, building the story much like you would put together a jigsaw puzzle. It's fiction, but it certainly appealed to the mystery lover in me as those bits and pieces began to fit together. Ultimately it is about understanding and forgiveness, though on it's surface it seems to be about a m ...more
Amy Hatvany
Apr 27, 2009 Amy Hatvany rated it it was amazing
A moving, lyrical portrait of redemption and the forgiveness to be found in the most unexpected places. I loved every word.
Judy Collins
Mar 25, 2014 Judy Collins rated it it was amazing
Another winner and page-turner by T. Greenwood! Once again, this talented author knows how to tell a powerful, and beautifully written heartwarming story! Looking forward to reading her remaining three books which I have not read (each is as good as the previous one).

Two Rivers is a bittersweet story of a man living in Two Rivers, Vermont, who is suffering daily from guilt after his role in a brutal crime which still haunts him daily. His sins of the past threatens to destroy his present, as Har
...more
Matthew Williams
Aug 07, 2011 Matthew Williams rated it really liked it
I had registered for a course in writing one's first novel by instructor T. Greenwood when I decided it might be a worthwhile endeavor to read one of her books before meeting her. I chose "Two Rivers" simply based on the jacket description of a man who encounters a young, pregnant victim of a derailed train in his fictional hometown of Two Rivers, Vermont, and takes her in. Nice inciting incident, and Greenwood did a fantastic job of weaving two stories from two different times together. Harper ...more
Roxanne
Aug 08, 2012 Roxanne rated it really liked it
This is a very well-written book with a story that transitions back and forth from past and present with each chapter change. I liked the male narrative of the book, but a few times, I felt more of a female nature coming through. (Didn't realize until later that the author is female.)

This story takes place in Two Rivers, Vermont. A very small town where Harper Montgomery is raising his daughter. I don't want to discuss the book in too much detail because the joy of reading this book is to just l
...more
Jennifer
Aug 13, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This is my 4th book I've read by T. Greenwood, and I've loved them all. She is an outstanding writer and her stories are always captivating, real, and exciting. This one did not disappoint!

Harper is a single dad raising his daughter in the small Vermont town where he grew up and spent his whole childhood/life in love with his daughter's mom, Betsy. He has never gotten over losing Betsy and has been pretty much an empty shell of a man ever since. Add to that the fact that he did something horribl
...more
Michael
Jan 31, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
Harper Montgomery works at a local railroad station and lives conservatively with his daughter, Shelly.

He's a sad man and still grieves his wife's death which happened twelve years ago.

One day, he's informed of a train derailment in Two Rivers, Vermont with people still trapped in the train. He runs to the river, gets into the water and crawls through a window into the train car but is unable to help anyone. Back on the shore he sees a young girl, with skin the color of blackberries. She's shiv
...more
Karly
Jun 30, 2012 Karly rated it liked it
I picked this up at a used book store. The insert sounded really good, especially the promise of a redemptive story with the arrival of Maggie. The book was at times hauntingly beautiful and lyrical, yet frustratingly repetitive. Sometimes, the plot itself was circular, especially the events happening in the main narrative/diegesis. The book itself largely takes place in the past, and rather follows Betsy's life than Harper's. Betsy, Betsy, Betsy, Betsy, Betsy - this got a little annoying and du ...more
Carol
Feb 17, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written novel except for the occasional error in grammar (using the pronoun "I" as the object of the preposition as in, "... going with Betsy and I...") which drives me crazy. The story jumps between the past and present with each chapter change but does it so easily that the reader is eager to read each chapter.

It takes place in a small town, Two Rivers, Vermont, and starts with a train wreck. Harper Montgomery is raising his young daughter alone after the death of her mo
...more
Sarah J. Belcher
Jul 30, 2011 Sarah J. Belcher rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, reviewed
I'm not entirely sure what it was about this book that made me bring it home from the library...it's just not the kind of description that would typically draw me in. But wow. Wow.

Two Rivers has quickly become a new favorite. The story is broken into chapters that alternate between telling the story of Harper growing up in love with his neighbor Betsy from an early age, one night that changed everything, and his current life, up to the point where they all come together.
I'm always a sucker for
...more
Janice
Mar 30, 2011 Janice added it
Very readable, with some lovely descriptions and an intriguing angle that has to do with white liberals involved in the Civil Rights movement in the south the 1960s. Deftly crafted - alternating chapters give us protagonist Harper 1) as a boy and teen in the 60s, falling in love with Betsy, the girl across the street, and 2) as a 32-year-old man, 12 years after Betsy's death, raising their 12-year-old daughter but emotionally dead himself. There are also occasional dreamlike flashes of something ...more
Lisa
Jan 27, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This might be a book you would enjoy if tales of love are what you like. It follows the life and deep love between many characters; husbands and wives, parents to their children. If you fear that you would be reading fluff then you would be wrong. Two Rivers is rich in both imagery and symbolism. It is also a fictional telling of life during the tumultuous era of the civil rights movement and Vietnam War. I was most touched by the way the story made me appreciate the depths of sorrow turning eve ...more
Michelle
Jan 08, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: read-on-kindle
I debated between a 3 star and a 4 star here...I think a 3.5 would really have been perfect. I enjoyed this book well enough, but it just seemed lacking in something. Nuance? Most of the characters seemed kind of cliche to me, and it was a bit overly...melodramatic. And I saw the "plot twist" coming almost immediately - not sure if that was a lucky guess on my part or a too obvious clue from the author. But when the big reveal came, my only thought was, "Duh."

I don't know. I wouldn't NOT recomme
...more
Ann
Aug 31, 2010 Ann rated it it was amazing
I thought I knew what was coming as I read the story of a New England man reviewing and re-evaluating his life and his relationships with his parents, his friends, the love of his life and his daughter. Then comes the day of the train wreck in town and a black girl from the South comes into his life and changes everything.
This book captured the essence of New England, coming of age in the early 70's and carrying on when all seems pretty hopeless. One can escape a rut with a little help from one
...more
Kami Sexton
Feb 17, 2010 Kami Sexton rated it it was amazing
I got this book on my Kindle because it was featured as a free book for a day or so. I figured I would get back to it, I mean what kind of a person turns down a free book? Anyway, I started reading it, and I was almost instantly hooked. Just how Greenwood writes is one of the most eloquent and unique styles I have ever read.
It starts out with a train crash in Two Rivers, and brings Harper Montgomery and Maggie together.
As the story progresses, you find how one action ties to another and one dec
...more
Kristy Lee
Feb 19, 2009 Kristy Lee rated it liked it
A good read. A haunting mystery novel about love, life, friends, and the ties that bind families. With all the horrible life altering experiences the main character experiences, the ending ties everything together with hope in a very unexpected way. The scenery, Vermont, plays a crucial role in the novel...its green rolling hills, forests, and rivers are constantly a figure and becomes its own character. The racial theme of the novel was fitting for the time, and makes the novel multi-dimensiona ...more
Carolyn Russett
Apr 18, 2016 Carolyn Russett rated it liked it
In Two Rivers, Vermont, Harper Montgomery is living a life overshadowed by grief and guilt. Since the death of his wife, Betsy, twelve years earlier, Harper has narrowed his world to working at the local railroad and raising his daughter, Shelly, the best way he knows how. Still wracked with sorrow over the loss of his life-long love and plagued by his role in a brutal, long-ago crime, he wants only to make amends for his past mistakes.

Then one fall day, a train derails in Two Rivers, and amid t
...more
Sandi
Mar 19, 2016 Sandi rated it really liked it
This was a story for the ages
Mary Jo
Mar 14, 2016 Mary Jo rated it really liked it
Very good! Not sure how I've missed this author through the years but enjoying catching up.
Brenda
Apr 14, 2013 Brenda rated it liked it
I wish there were 1/2 stars as I would have given this 3.5 stars. The only reason not 4 was that I found myself getting angry at the main character and his selfishness and immaturity. Whether that was intentional by the author, as the story is about forgiveness, is very possible. It is always a different read when it moves from future to past throughout the novel. The ending was a bit of surprise so can recommend this book.
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T. Greenwood is the author of ten novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. TWO RIVERS was named 2009 Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and GRACE received the same award for 2012. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/ ...more
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“... I'm a half-empty kind of girl.” 12 likes
“Sometimes I felt like the mundane details of our lives were the only things tethering me to the world. I could hold onto them - distractions necessitating action. They gave me a sense of purpose. If not for the leaky faucet, the sandwiches, the bills, I might not know what to do with my hands.” 7 likes
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