Monday, August 29, 2016

Where the River Ends by Charles Martin ~ Book Review

Doss was raised in a trailer park by the river by his loving mom who encouraged his artistic side to help him cope with his life threatening asthma.  Now an adult, and his beloved mom passed away years ago, Doss is a struggling artist and fishing guide on the river.  When he meets Abby, the beautiful international model who just happens to be the daughter of a very influential & powerful senator, he is smitten but out of his league.  But Abby is not like her parents in that respect and does not care where Doss has come from, only who he is as a person.  In spite of their objections, she continues to see him and also uses her connections to help his art to sell.  Now married 10 years against the wishes of her parents and still totally in love, Abby faces the fight of her life with an aggressive life threatening illness.  With Doss by her side supporting her through all the treatments and experimental programs, Abby fights with everything she has.  But as all avenues start be closed, Abby makes a list of ten things she wants to do before the illness ends her life.  Involving the trip that Doss promised her at the beginning their marriage, they sneak away to make the 130 mile canoe trip down the St. Mary River.  But chasing them down is her very angry father who has all resources to find them at his fingertips and a hurricane barreling down the coastline.

This story is a heartbreaking look into the devastating and emotional journey on one couple's fight against cancer.  The story goes back and forth between Doss and Abby's present and their past giving the reader a backseat ride to the the story of their lives.  It is emotional and heartbreaking from beginning to end as the story of their deep love and supportive relationship unfolds, to the stress of Abby's powerful father never really accepting Doss even after 10 years, to the decisions that they are faced with as their cancer journey progresses.  It is also an exploration in how a person's life should end when they have a long term, terminal illness.

As usual I loved the story put out by this author.  This is not a new release by him being published in 2008, but I'm working my way through all his older novels.  He really knows how to build character and how to get the reader to connect with each of the vieiwpoints of the main characters.  His story and character building is bar none.   As per his other novels there are varied characters from all sorts of backgrounds, good and bad, and their stories really draw you in.   That being said, I did find this particular story to be a bit wordy in respect to his descriptions of the river.  I found it a bit over done and it actually distracted me from the journey that Doss and Abby were taking.  So even though it was a heartbreaking story I was disconnected more than his other books and finally found myself skimming the parts where I was getting bogged down in river descriptions and metaphors and analogies.  But I loved how the story was resolved between a couple of the characters and thought that was worth any frustrations described above.  This was also still worth the read for me simply for the fact that it took an issue I thought I had a pretty strong stance on and made me at least ponder on it from a different angle.

  I gave it a 9/10.


Faith said...

I've read 2 or 3 of his books thanks to you!! I clearly remember When Crickets Cry (or something like that) and there was another one.....THIS one I have been waiting for...our town library doesn't have it nor could they find it in our inter-library system so I assumed it was new (had seen it on a book review blog). It sounds so good...but then again everything I"ve read by him I've liked so far. I started one early this morning and immediately after my shower I returned it to the library. TOO VIOLENT...i won't go into details. I was disappointed as thought the plot sounded intriguing but just.too.violent and almost demonic. Thankfully I discovered a book on the shelf i've been waiting for and then found2 others that look great. Let's hope so!! Only one more week to be lazy all afternoon and read!!!!

Barbara H. said...

I've been wanting to check out more of his books. This one sounds like a winner.

Becky said...

I've heard a lot about Charles Martin--my Bible study leader raves about his books--but I've not read anything he's written. This sounds very good--I'll have to add it to my (gigantic) TBR list!