Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The River: A Review


Michael Neale
A Review

The River is alive.
The River is timeless,
and it's moving all over the world.
I find myself drawn to the River.
-- Gabriel Clarke's Journal

The River is the story of a boy who becomes a man.  It is the story of misunderstood loneliness, anger, and lose.  Yet it is also a story of forgiveness and understanding – that only time can bring.  
The story begins in an airport as two passengers wait for a delayed plane in Denver.  As Gabriel Clarke begins to tell his history, the book moves back several decades, to the day that 5 year old Gabriel Clarke would lose his father to The River.  It was on that day that Gabriel began to feel the hatred, the confusion, the anger, that he had for all those associated with The River. 

The next fifteen years were spent living with his mother in poverty.  The community was supportive of the family, but not many would support the hurt that Gabriel faced as he continued to deal with the loss of his father.  He would find himself going to his “secret place” to find some solace – but it never seemed enough.

Gabriel would occasionally cross paths with The River – with his landlord, Mr. Earl, on a fishing trip; with the town boys, who would gather at the pond.  It felt good, in spite of how others treated him – but he did not know why.

At twenty Gabriel would join some of his friends and their college friends on a trip to Colorado that would change his life forever.  It was not a quick change – it would take most of the next six months.  But that trip to the River - with the white water rafting, with Meredith, with Ezra, and with Jacob – would change the direction and the momentum of his life forever.  

God would bring an amazing set of events together that none of the characters, the writer, or the reader, could have anticipated.  God intervenes in the life of this young man in unexpected ways.  And once He did, Gabriel’s adventures would be just beginning. The grace that God showed to Gabriel that spring and summer is an example of the grace that he offers to each of us.  Michael Neale makes it clear that God's grace can be found even in the most difficult circumstances, if we will take time to slow down and listen to Him in the midst of our busy lives.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.  

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