Bayley's Reviews > After River

After River by Donna Milner
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's review
Apr 29, 2009

it was ok
Read in March, 2009 , read count: 1

My over all thought about the book “After River” by Donna Milner is that it was a very eye catching story but the plot was dragged on to long. The book starts out in the summer of 1966 on a dairy farm near Atwood, BC. It starts with a brief description of the first time that Natalie Ward, fourteen at the time saw River Jordan. She tells us about the differences she see’s in her mother and is wondering who this man is and why he is coming to her family’s farm. The whole book is based on what this one man did to this family. Natalie is now a 52 year old wife and mother who just got a call from her daughter Jenny, who told her that her mother who she hasn’t spoken to in years is dying of cancer and it is her wishes that Natalie would come back and see her.

Through out the book Natalie is forced to relive her memories that have made her relationships with her family the way that they are today. This all takes place on her trip back to her home town to a dreaded family reunion at her mother’s death bed. With in the memories that are relived through out the book her mother’s memories are also taken place in some chapters. I found this really confusing. I some times didn’t know what was going on and who was talking, it didn’t help that they had the same name. The story started out interesting and seemed like it was going to be good until the drama started to get longer and longer.

The whole book is based on the many secrets and tragedies that she has faced within the period that River was around. Actually there were too many tragedies. I think that the book would have still had the same effect if some of the tragic events didn’t happen. Every new tragedy that happened to poor Natalie pushed the story further and further from reality. There were just too many events that happened in such a short time period, it just didn’t seem believable. One person could not cause that much of a disruption. I ending up laughing at parts that shouldn’t be funny, they just seemed so unrealistic.

I found the parts about her life now just seemed boring. It felt as if I was reading them just to get through the chapter. Also in some of her memories it gave away parts of the book that were coming later on. I found this book predictable when realistic events took place but the other events just came out of nowhere.

All together it was a well written book, but the story lacked believability. Milner is a good writer her story just was dragged on too long and the ending ended just like a fairy tale, happily ever after

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