Monday, May 20, 2013

The Banks of Certain Rivers (2013)

The Banks of Certain RiversThe Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am leery about original E-books. I was encouraged to review this one  by a colleague, realized I could use my Prime membership at Amazon to 'borrow' it, and reluctantly started to read.

There is nothing more magical than discovering a new author with the gift of memorable storytelling.  The Banks of Certain Rivers, Jon Harrison's debut novel, is well-written, plotted, and edited! The characters that Harrison has carefully drawn for us are our friends, family and neighbors.

Read the introduction that sets up the story and you will be hooked. Immediately you become vested in this very special family.

Bottom Line: Highly Recommended

After his wife Wendy suffers a tragic accident and is institutionalized, Neil Kazenzakis is left alone to raise his son Christopher. Neil is a respected and well-loved high school teacher, but his world goes spiraling out of control when he is accused of attacking a student. Complicating matters is his secret relationship with girlfriend, Lauren, that he has hidden from Chris for two years.

With great humor and a sure hand, Jon Harrison attempts to answer these questions: What do you do when your beloved wife is in a nursing home and will never recover? How do you hold your life together when you are falsely accused? How do secrets impact relationships with those you love?

Written in the first person, we take the journey with Neil. The author uses an interesting technique to allow Neil to communicate with his wife.

Since I have been a Michigander over thirty years, the fact that this story is set here is an added bonus. The author describes recognizable places in the northern part of the mitten. He has a keen eye for the details that matter and sketches them with words in ways that make them come alive. Over and over again things in this story connected with my own life.

Some of the plot twists at the end of the book are a little over-the-top but by that point, it's irrelevant. This is a book you will want to recommend to your friends whether they have a connection to Michigan or not.

You can purchase the book from Amazon for $2.99 and it's worth that and much, much more. It was published March 19, 2013.

Biographical information on Jon Harrison is limited. "A native of the Midwest, JON HARRISON currently lives with his dog Jasper in the Northern Rockies. When not writing, he enjoys skiing, running, and climbing." from the book and from the website.

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