Emily's Reviews > The River Wife

The River Wife by Jonis Agee
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May 05, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: hersday-book-club, funky-fiction, 2008

** spoiler alert ** The River Wife by Jonis Agee is a novel that spans 100 plus years and details the lives of the women in the life of Jacques Ducharme, from his first wife, to his mistress, to his daughters, and the bride of his grandson. The tale is told from the perspective of Hedie Ducharme, the bride of Jacques’ grandson in the 1930s. Pregnant and left alone a fair share of the time, Hedie finds the journals of Jacques’ first wife Annie and begins reading of the history of her husband’s family. Jacques is a fur trapper and eventually a river pirate on the Mississippi River during the 19th century. His dealings can be shady, but they’re all for the love of Annie, the teenage girl he rescued from the ruble of the New Madrid earthquakes in 1812. He strives to make her happy no matter what happens. Time passes and other women come and go in the life of Jacques and each of their stories is told to the reader, all the while Hedie’s story is told in between.

The scoring …

I liked that the story began with the New Madrid earthquake. The history and the changing dynamics of the event were considerable in the area, and I liked how the story included the details in the novel. – Plus 3

I wish there had been more about Jacques losing his arm. It was just barely mentioned. The reader returns to his story and he’s suddenly one armed. One sentence mentions the event. Not every novel has a main character that loses a limb. What a disappointment. – Minus 3

Two tragedies in two chapters is a lot for the reader to take. I understand the mirroring stories but seriously, spread that stuff out. – Minus 3

I totally understood Annie and Jacques’ love affair. He rescued her, a damsel in distress and they fell madly in love. Total romance novel stuff … but I didn’t so much get Hedie and Clement. Yes he rescued her from a domineering mother, but he was a loser. A domineering mother doesn’t compare with a gigantic beam across your legs. - Neutral

Yellow diamonds?? Does anyone actually like those?? - Minus 2

I really liked Annie. I liked her grit and her ferocity. Good strong female characters rule! – Plus 5

I also really liked Omah. Nothing like strong women in novels! – Plus 5

But I wasn’t such a fan of Dealie or Laura – Minus 3

Ghosts … duh – Plus 2

Buried treasure … duh – Plus 2
** I was totally wrong about how it was going to end. And I have to admit that I liked that. - Plus 3

** In the end, I'm still not sure if I liked or loathed Jacques. He was kind of a drunken bastard, but he seemed so tortured and sad, like a wounded puppy. Or like Jordan Catalano in My So Called Life, or James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause ... a girl has to have a weak spot for the tortured bad boy. - Plus 3

Final Tally ... Plus 8

I think that's one of the higher books that I've reviewed, although to be honest, I'm not sure why. I really enjoyed the elements of the book and I liked a lot of the characters, but I'm not sure that I liked the book as a whole. This might be one of those times that the sum of it's parts doesn't quite add up to the whole ...
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message 1: by Nickcole (new) - added it

Nickcole I really loved your review


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