Donna's Reviews > The River Between Us

The River Between Us by Richard Peck
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's review
Feb 27, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, middle-school, award-winners, scott-o-dell-historical-fiction
Read in February, 2010

During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

Richard Peck writes about Tilly Peck and her family in Grand Tower, Illinois along a settlement town along the Mississippi River, set in 1861 just before the Civil War begins. The story opens with Howard Leland Hutchings telling of the road trip he, his dad, Dr. William Hutchings, and his two younger brothers, Raymond and Earl make from St. Louis to Grand Tower. Grand Tower is Dr. Hutchings home town and he is returning to visit his mother Tilly and father, the first Dr. William Hutchings and his Uncle Noah and Aunt Delphine, who all live at the "old home place" together. It is during this visit that Howard learns about the family history its involvement in the Civil War, and is told a family secret.
Though Peck begins the story in first person with Howard as narrator, parts of the book are told by an unknown narrator or the reader must assume that Howard is telling the story as it was told to him by his grandmother Tilly. Peck has a way of hooking the reader through his characters, especially his female characters, you want to read to see what they will do next. The theme of this book could be that we are bound by family ties and it is through love and sacrifice that enables families to survive.
The River Between Us was a National Book Award nominee in 2003.
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Ruby what is the internal/external conflict

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