Saturday, February 13, 2010

The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand

Veronica Severance feels cut off from the world. Forced to move from the city to rural Oregon with her parents, she is haunted by loneliness and by the chilling sounds of the Santiam, the river that runs through her backyard.

Through the fog of isolation, Ronnie finds herself becoming close with Karen, a young girl who she babysits. But when she discovers Karen's body on the banks of the Santiam, the victim of a supposed accident, Ronnie feels compelled to uncover the truth.

As she becomes increasingly obsessed with solving Karen's death, Ronnie is led deeper and deeper into the woods surrounding the river and to the dark secret hidden within its midst.
The River is a darkly atmospheric story of murder, isolation, obsession and dark secrets that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. 
I was not that impressed by The River. It had mystery and unexpected elements but I felt it was also missing something important.

My biggest problem was that I couldn't seem to get attached to the characters. There were quite a few secondary characters thrown into the story that didn't bring much to the story. I think I would've been able to focus better if they were simply left out. Personally, I also had trouble relating to Ronnie. I realize that others might not have this problem so don't count The River out based on that.

I did, however, enjoy Beaufrand's writing style. I was totally thrown off by the ending. I felt like it came out of nowhere and wasn't even hinted at previously. Depending on your reading taste, this may or may not be appealing to you.

Overall, The River was an okay read. I can't see myself rereading this in the future, though. If this sounds like something you might be interested in reading, I recommend looking into getting it from the library before buying it.

3 out of 5 stars

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