Book Talk: The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
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The story is about a man’s struggle to rebuild his life after a great tragedy. What a great read this book was. I picked it up on the recommendation of Catherine McKenzie, one of my favorite authors. The story gives you a sense that you know these characters personally and you have been a part of their grief and sorrow. I found myself caring for them deeply.
The author has an amazing ability to set the scene with just one sentence. Like in the opening sentence of the first chapter:
"One humid night at the beginning of the summer, while jetliners rumbled overhead and fireflies winked green along the far-off row of brambles, my best friend and I sat by the fire pit in the field behind my house."
The author also has beautifully layered the story with characters that are well developed.
After the nail-biting prologue, the early chapters are a bit slow, but you get the hang of what’s happening when it all begins to come together.
I would definitely recommend this one if you are looking for a change from your usual genre.
My rating is 4 stars.
Know more about the author, Jon Harrison.
In the lakeside resort town of Port Manitou, Michigan, dedicated teacher and running coach Neil Kazenzakis shoulders responsibilities that would break a lesser man: a tragic accident has left his wife seriously debilitated, he cares for his mother-in-law who suffers from dementia, and he’s raising his teenage son, Chris, on his own. On top of all that, he’s also secretly been seeing Lauren, his mother-in-law’s caregiver.
When Neil breaks up a fight one day after school, he doesn’t give the altercation much thought. He’s got bigger issues on his mind, like the fact that Lauren is ready for a commitment and he has to figure out a way to tell Chris that he’s in a serious relationship with someone other than the boy’s mother. But when an anonymous person uploads a video of the fight to YouTube, the stunning footage suggests Neil assaulted a student. With his job, his family, and his reputation suddenly in jeopardy, Neil must prove his innocence and win back the trust of the entire community—including his son’s.
Jon Harrison’s The Banks of Certain Rivers is a powerful tale of family, loss, and the meaning of love.