Sunday, May 28, 2023

Audiobook Review - GO AS A RIVER by Shelley Read


Shelley Read

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Release Date: Februrary 28, 2023

About the Book:


Set amid Colorado’s wild beauty, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a resilient young woman whose life is changed forever by one chance encounter. A tragic and uplifting novel of love and loss, family and survival—and hope—for listeners of Great CircleThe Four Winds, and Where the Crawdads Sing.

Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses.

Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains where she struggles to survive in the wilderness with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland—its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.

Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home—where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river—gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when a river is dammed.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

I don't remember how I came to listen to Go As A River, whether is was recommended by a friend, or an option for my Book Club, but whatever it was, I am so glad I found this heartfelt novel. 

Beautifully written, and brimming with emotion, the story follows two decades in the life of Victoria Nash, a seventeen year old girl who had to take over running the household, caring for her father and keeping a distance from her troubled brother after her mother's death several years earlier. The story contains harsh bigotry and ignorance in this small rural town in Colorado, especially toward Wilson Moon, the young man Victoria fell in love with.

I don't want to give away any spoilers as to how Victoria's life unfolds and the harshness she has to endure, so I won't say more. I do, however, highly recommend this book as one of the better books I have read this year. I hope to see much more from author Shelley Read in the years ahead.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Shelley Read is a fifth generation Coloradoan who lives with her family in the Elk Mountains of the Western Slope. She was a Senior Lecturer at Western Colorado University for nearly three decades, where she taught writing, literature, environmental studies, and Honors, and was a founder of the Environment & Sustainability major and a support program for first-generation and at-risk students. Shelley holds degrees in writing and literary studies from the University of Denver and Temple University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. She is a regular contributor to 
Crested Butte Magazine and Gunnison Valley Journal, and has written for the Denver Post and a variety of publications.


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