“Daniel Arroyo has suffered a lifetime of guilt over the sudden death of his infant sister, who died when he was eight years old. He now lives his middle years between that guilt and worsening episodes of PTSD from a Vietnam he left thirty years ago. When a violent encounter on a dusty highway forces Daniel to face what haunts him, he finds himself pulled back to the neighborhood of his youth. Where old houses hold tired secrets. What really happened on that steamy August afternoon? The answer comes spilling from the old neighborhood, and Daniel begins to find his way home. Corran Harrington takes the reader along the Rio Grande, from its headwaters to the sea.” (Cover)
Each chapter of this book flowed a segment of Daniel’s life and each was a collection of tight, incredible, descriptive words, which just held the readers attention. One knew the wild asparagus and the movement of water in the irrigation ditch. This was the place where Daniel value programmed, of his best friend, of his siblings and parents. There are roots here – deep roots. Wild roses tapped the window and the basketball bounced on the court, it was supposed to be safe. I think on purpose the next chapter did not flow from the last, rather it was a jump into another memory and experience and at first I found this disconcerting until I began to expect it. I think this was to show the confusion in Daniel’s mind and it succeeded. The psychological dimensions of the story were revealed and explained out of sequence and made the reader work a bit to integrate the life being told.
By coming back home, drawn in by the wonderful next-door neighbor, Daniel is able to find himself and his own truth and it will free his life and propel him forward.
FOLLOW THE RIVER HOME is quite the read and I think I will keep my advanced reading copy on my shelf for a future read. At this time in my life the “death” theme was a bit tough to take and I felt sadness as I read – a loneliness that made finishing the story a release.
TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book for review. If you go to the link you can see all the other reader’s reviews of this book.
From the Cover:
“Corran Harrington is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Santa Fe Writing Project finalist, a Hidden River Arts Eludia Award finalist, a Bosque Fiction contest finalist, and a New Millennium Writings award semi-finalist who short fiction (written also as Connie Harrington) has appeared in number literary journals. A former lawyer, Harrington also has a background in cultural and linguistic anthropology. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
NOTE: This review is several days late, I am so sorry I had a sudden illness and could not get to my computer to get the post into the schedule. I hope this will prove to be a fine posting and not cause problems for TLC or the author.