Posted on Romancing the Books blogReviewed by MariaReview Copy Provided by Contest WinA powerful piece of survival fiction, this evokes the feel of a rural American town. Lee Johnson nee Tucker couldn’t have found herself in a worse place. Her husband just committed suicide leaving her to face a ruined business, a heap of debt and a loan shark. Oh and did I mention the unplanned pregnancy? A practical woman, who came out of the backwoods of rural Oregon to entrepreneurship in big city Seattle, she knows what she has to do. Get off the radar, buy some time and somehow raise the money to pay the debt. This means returning to River Valley, a town which holds few happy memories. There’s a piece of property there with her name on it, the legacy of the depressed, drunken mother who raised Lee alone. Lee’s entrepreneurial spirit lands her a position as a consultant to a local businessman, who wants to bring his restaurant up to city standards to attract tourists. The establishment, ‘Riversong’, becomes a metaphor for Lee’s life. How she makes peace with her past, discovers her true identity and builds up her life again, while helping others to do the same, makes compulsive reading. It’s a story of hope, of renewal, of second chances and the fact that God and life and love can be found in the murmur of a river….. There’s a strong message here. Small towns and communities are not dead places, but teeming with life and potential, providing an attractive alternative to the urban jungles which cities have become. The prose is simple, yet laden with gems of meaning. I felt a buzz while reading this one and yes, I would read it again. Favorite Quote: This morning I sat on my deck and listened to the sound of the river, which I’ve come to think of as alive, because it’s ever changing, like us. This time of year the water’s still pretty high and, if you listen carefully, you can hear the current moving towards the ocean, the sound almost imperceptible because it’s so quiet – a low steady drone punctuated with burbles over rocks and the gush of the mild rapids just down from my swimming hole. The sun was warm on my back and I sipped an expresso I had made for myself with a smidge of half-and-half, just the way I like it. I felt abundant and at peace and grateful – this surge of wholeness that I know is God.