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Across the River

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Melissa Westemeier's funny, heartfelt new novel explores the surprising confluence of grace and redemption in Bassville, a quirky fishing town on the Wissipaw River. All the locals have a story to tell in the Bassville Pub, and Mona Butterfield--bartender extraordinaire--lends a willing ear. But when the town divides over a farmer's plan to sell his land to pay for his daughter's cancer treatments, life for Mona takes an unexpected turn, and she has to decide where her heart lies---in the past with the Bassville she loves or in the future unknown.

295 pages, Paperback

First published May 1, 2016

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Melissa Westemeier

6 books13 followers

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Amanda Lauer.
Author 17 books45 followers
September 17, 2021
This well-written book centers on life in small-town Wisconsin. Westemeier, who's a talented writer and having lived a life reminiscent of Mona Butterfield's, aptly describes life, love and the eccentric characters who make up resort towns like Bassville. Having grown up in a northern Wisconsin town and lived in a resort area in Northern Minnesota myself, it was easy to connect to the folks brought to life by Westemeier. But, no matter where you're from, this is an entertaining tale worth reading.
Profile Image for Cindy Cieslik.
3 reviews
June 11, 2018
I read a lot of books, so I purchased this one and before I could get to it, my husband read it and loved it. It's the story of Bassville a small town in Wisconsin and the charming, funny and sometimes infuriating people who live there. Set in the 1980's, the book reminds us of the common experiences we all share. A great read!
Profile Image for Jen Anderson.
2 reviews3 followers
January 9, 2019
Even though I'm a native New Yorker, I'm tired of reading novel after novel set in NYC. This is a realistic and fun look at a fishing town in the Northern Midwest. The characters are endearing and well drawn. You can't help but root for them even when they're going overboard.
Profile Image for Karen.
21 reviews
February 13, 2023
Melissa Westemeier has a talent of taking common experiences and turning them into books. In Whipped, Not Beaten she did this with a home cooking party business; in Kicks Like a Girl, martial arts played a starring role. Westemeier has done it again, this time with fishing. Of course, Across the River isn't just a book about fishing; it's a look at how different people handle changes in their lives. Small town life isn't as simple as it may seem, but there is humor and love within those challenges.
This was an enjoyable book to begin the summer and a welcome respite from a heavily intellectual nonfiction book which I am slowly working my way through. Even a week later, I can close my eyes and imagine Westemeier's characters in the Bassville Pub.

Side note: I'm not a person who goes fishing, and up until a year ago, neither was my husband -- so it amused me that the week I read this book, my husband was heading out to the local lakes and rivers, fishing for our dinner. I would sup on grilled steelhead with garden-fresh spinach, then retire to read this book.
12 reviews
December 16, 2016
This book reminded me of our small towns.

The river, the town, the Characters, names of restaurants,nearby cities and towns all reminded me of Fremont WI. Where the White Bass fishing and Walleye fishing is a ritual . They are descended upon by Chicago fishermen and fishermen from all over , it's amazing. I plan to read the next book in this trilogy . Fun read
Profile Image for Tiffany.
6 reviews
June 10, 2016
A highly enjoyable read! The author deftly weaves the personal growth of the individual characters with that of the small town on the cusp of big changes to create a highly entertaining look at small town life and the folks that call it home.
July 30, 2016
This novel met my biggest reading need: to get away to a small town with an excellently named river, and meet the people who live there, and enter into their lives. I think my favorite character was Grandma Nancy. This was a fun read.
Profile Image for Julie Sucha Anderson.
438 reviews2 followers
November 18, 2016
Across the River is set in a location where I felt complete comfort. A mix of the old and familiar along with the new, which more often than not brings conflict. Enjoyable characters. I truly enjoyed my trip to Bassville.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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