Read After River: A Novel by Donna Milner Online

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At fifteen, Natalie Ward believes life is perfect. Growing up on a dairy farm nestled in the mountains of British Columbia, her world is defined by her beautiful and pious mother, Nettie, and Boyer, the handsome, brilliant older brother she adores. But everything changes one summer day in 1966 when an American draft dodger named River walks up the winding dirt road to theiAt fifteen, Natalie Ward believes life is perfect. Growing up on a dairy farm nestled in the mountains of British Columbia, her world is defined by her beautiful and pious mother, Nettie, and Boyer, the handsome, brilliant older brother she adores. But everything changes one summer day in 1966 when an American draft dodger named River walks up the winding dirt road to their door.The arrival of this soft-spoken stranger will test the morals and beliefs of the Ward family and their small community, pushing them all to the breaking point and separating Natalie from the family she loves in ways she never imagined. Now, thirty-five years later, as her mother lies dying, Natalie returns to the place that holds such bittersweet memories. But before she can find redemption and rehabilitation, she must steel herself to face the horrors and secrets of a past she's desperately tried to forget....

Title : After River: A Novel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0061462993
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

After River: A Novel Reviews

  • Tea Jovanović
    2019-03-27 00:13

    Još jedna kanadska autorka čiji debitantski roman "Posle Rivera", objavljen kod nas u izdanju Beobooka, zaslužuje vašu punu pažnju... Sudbina jedne porodice oslikane u vremenu nama manje bliskom... MUST READ! MUST READ! :)

  • Marian
    2019-04-08 22:23

    Venía todo muy bien hasta el final.- Me pareció que en definitiva hubo mucho drama, poco conflicto y un desenlace muy azucarado.- Supongo que como venía desarrollándose la historia me imaginé su fin con una dosis de realidad, fue como que todo el romanticismo se condensó en los últimos capítulos.-

  • Consuelo
    2019-03-25 05:20

    Impresionante, maravilloso un libro que te mantiene en vilo, que te devora y que llega al corazón. ...De lo mejor que leído en mucho tiempo, lo he leído en ebook pero voy a por el en papel, debe estar en mi estantería.Habla de familia, de amor en muchas formas, de errores, de arrepentimiento y de perdón

  • Cristina
    2019-04-07 05:13

    Donna Milner es una autora de talento que demuestra con Cuando todo cambió que el pasado no puede ser cambiado, sólo asumido. Su personaje principal es Natalie Ward, una periodista feliz de 35 años que está constantemente viviendo a través de los secretos y pesares de su pasado. Un día recibe una llamada telefónica de su hija en la que le informa de que su madre se está muriendo. Natalie se ve obligada a regresar a su ciudad natal y a enfrentar los muchos de esos secretos que dejó atrás cuando huyó de la vergüenza.La historia entonces se remonta en el tiempo a la joven Natalie Ward, que vive en una granja aislada en las montañas de Cascade de British Columbia con su familia. Natalie está muy contenta con su vida, pasando la mayor parte de su tiempo libre con su hermano Boyer. Una relación tan fuerte que incluso uno llega a cuestionarse algunos puntos. En la escuela, ella hace poco para fomentar la amistad. Las relaciones entre cada miembro de su familia que se presentan son impecables, incluso armónicamente elevados, rara vez luchan y están tan estrechamente unidos que parece que nada podría separarlos; pero algo tan demasiado perfecto resulta casi demasiado bueno para ser verdad. Un desastre familiar está prefigurado por la autora cuando River Jordan, un hippy lleno de encanto llega a trabajar a la granja.La personalidad amable y encantadora de River parece como un ajuste perfecto para la familia, una pieza aún más perfecta para colorear el marco familiar de los Ward. Debido a su aspecto físico, no es de extrañar que todos, incluyendo a Natalie, cayesen bajo su hechizo. Sólo Gus, el padre de Natalie, mantiene la desconfianza hacia River, en la creencia de que todo aquel que no tiene las agallas para defender a su país no es de confiar.El estilo de escritura de Milner es muy bueno, fluye sin problemas desde las experiencias en el pasado entrelazando las del presente. Su estilo es parecido al de Jodi Picoult, pasando de una perspectiva a otra. Picoult muestra los puntos de vista de diferentes personajes, mientras que Milner se mueve entre diferentes períodos de tiempo. Su uso de los recursos literarios es fascinante, por lo que el libro es difícil de dejar. Por ejemplo, utiliza un presagio que resumiría la historia del libro una vez leída, como se ve en la cita: […] Si hubiese creído en presagios habría temblado al oír sus palabras. Pero por aquel entonces, si temblé fue ante la idea de mi propio y delicioso secreto, mis sentimientos hacia River, que no habían hecho más que crecer a lo largo del invierno. […]Esta novela es una gran lectura con muchos elementos agradables, la imagen perfecta de British Columbia y su entorno, los personajes, y la vida imperfecta del personaje principal. Donna Milner ilustra claramente la importancia de la familia y el poder de las relaciones entre hermanos.Esta es una historia que cautiva pero con un trasfondo trágico del primer amor, del amor de la familia, de los secretos que nos acechan, no importa qué tan profundo tratemos de enterrarlos. A veces los libros que tienen estos temas pueden dejarnos algo deprimidos debido a la carga elevada dramática que aúna sucesos tanto desagradables como siniestros, pero después de leerlo de alguna manera, nos permite ver un resquicio de esperanza a través de todas las páginas hasta la resolución final.

  • Becca
    2019-03-30 06:01

    Donna Milner is a talented author who proves in the novel After River that the past cannot be changed – only dealt with. Her lead character in After River, Natalie Ward, is a happy 35 year old journalist who is constantly harbouring secrets and regrets from her past. One day she gets a phone call from her daughter, informing her that her mother is dying. Natalie is then forced to go back to her home town and confront the many secrets that she left behind when she fled in shame years before.The story then goes back in time to the younger Natalie Ward who lives on a secluded dairy farm in the Cascade Mountains of British Columbia with her family. Natalie is very content with her life, spending most of her spare time with her older, bookish brother Boyer. Young Natalie’s relationship with Boyer is so strong that she even believes that they will one day get married. At school, she does little to encourage friendships. The family harmonics presented in this novel are flawless, they rarely fight and are so closely-knit it seems as though nothing could ever tear them apart, but are almost too good to be true. A family disaster is foreshadowed by the author when a draft-dodger, River Jordan, comes to work on the farm. River’s gentle and charming personality seems like a perfect fit for the family. Due to his physical appearance, it is no surprise that Natalie falls under his spell, mesmerized by his “eyes like an ocean only seen in her imagination" (Milner, 86). Only Gus, Natalie’s father, holds any mistrust for River, believing that any one who doesn’t have the guts to stand up for his country shouldn’t be trusted.Milner’s writing style is astounding, flowing seamlessly from experiences in the past to the present. Her style is somewhat like that of Jodi Picoult, moving from one perspective to another. Picoult shows the perspectives of different characters whereas Milner moves between different time periods. Her use of literary devices is riveting, making the book hard to put down. For example, she uses foreshadowing very well, as seen in the quote, “she was expecting him. She wasn’t expecting the heartache that would follow behind him like a cold wind” (Milner, 114).This novel is a great read with many enjoyable elements throughout; the picture perfect British Columbia setting, the relatable characters, and the imperfect life of the main character. Donna Milner clearly illustrates the importance of family and the power of relationships between siblings.

  • LauLau
    2019-04-21 04:21

    Me llegó sin esperarlo, me lo pasó una amiga que se lo encontró de forma casual y decidió compartirlo conmigo. Me alegro de que lo hiciera.La primera parte me enamoró. Luego llegó todo el drama, que me sobresaltó un poco, así en plan culebrón con muchas casualidades. Lo definiría un poco así: bonito, triste y doloroso, y luego de nuevo bonito. Me gusta la forma en que está escrito: natural, hermosa, que me enganchó desde el primer momento en su manera de narrar las cosas. Me ha llamado la atención, una vez leído, cómo nada de lo que se cuenta es gratuito. Todo tiene un motivo. En ese sentido, es una historia redonda.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-05 05:04

    Even though this book wasn't the best I can't bring myself to give it less than a 3 star. I liked the writing style and the British Columbia backdrop to the story and it was definitely a fast read, but I think the author has been watching one too many episodes of Young & the Restless. Things started to get a little bit ridiculous toward the end. The first half of the book was slow paced, but still enjoyable and then in the second half BAM people are on fire, people are having sex with the same person, people are lost of the mountain, friend's dads are being pervy, and all this is going on while the cows are in desperate need of being milked. I don't want to give away the plot, but trust me it gets pretty predictable and out there and at some times maybe a bit laughable. Oh well, what can you expect for $2.99. I will never learn that sometimes bargain books are bargains for a reason.

  • Missy
    2019-04-08 22:54

    I didn't want this story to end. This is a beautiful coming-of-age story about Natalie, who lives on a dairy farm with her family in beautiful British Colombia in the 1960's. She is closest to her older brother, Boyer, whose love for knowledge and books mirrors her own. When a stranger shows up one summer day in 1966, Natalie's secure life is turned upside down, with feelings and emotions that she has never had before. The whole Ward family is taken with the stranger, and for awhile, things were good.The story is narrated by Natalie as an adult, who is preparing to return home to Atwood, to her mother's bedside. She is dying of lung cancer. I was not disappointed in the end of After River...in fact, I felt at peace.

  • Louise
    2019-04-13 01:00

    Donna Milner is a Canadian author and this was her first novel and an excellent one at that! I hope she writes more.Natalie Ward is 15-years-old and growing up on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia two miles from the United States Border. She believes her life is perfect as she knows nothing outside her family and life on the farm. Her family is very close knit and one that is the highly admired and regarded by the folks in Atwood, the nearest town to their farm.Natalie is the only daughter of Nettie Ward and the town's milkman, Gus Ward and sister to 3 brothers whom she loves dearly. She is especially close to Boyer, the eldest and as a younger child Natalie fully believed that she would grow up one day to marry Boyer as her love for him was like a worshipping Saint. Needless say, she was crushed when she was informed by her other brothers that that wasn't the case.One afternoon in the summer of 1966 a long-haired stranger shows up at their farm's kitchen door and nothing in Natalie's family is the same again. The arrival of this stranger sets in motion catastrophie, saddness and a string of secrets that have almost torn the family apart forcing various members of the family to move away and 'ignore' their childhood home. Only on their grandmother's death bed do the members of this family realize that no matter what 'secrets' or 'lies' have been covered up over the years, the truth will always set you free no matter how much time has elapsed.This book will keep you riveted to your seat and at 342 pages it's not really considered a 'short' read but I still read it in one afternoon it was that good!!!

  • Vivian
    2019-03-26 22:01

    The book After River has been written in an intriguing manner. It starts off with the main character, Natalie Ward, as a young child that only knew of the world at her family farm and kept switching on and off in time line to thirty years later. This created a mysterious mood throughout the book. I was constantly wondering how, why, and what has caused Natalie to turn into such a different person. The arrival of Richard Jordan drastically changed not only Natalie`s life but also everyone her family. They met when Natalie was thirteen years old the perfect years to feel confused and have mixed emotions come in. She was a tomboy that found that one and only boy she ever liked. I particularly liked unravelling the feelings from Natalie towards River while reading further into the book. The way she was so loyal and patient with River made me envious of her maturity. For many years Natalie controlled her feelings but one night when they were alone Natalie tried to progress her relationship with River sexually. `` I ignored the robot-like response of his body, believing, wanting to believe, that he was holding back because he didn`t want to hurt me. `` The power of Natalie`s love towards River overpowered what she knew was right. I felt that I understood Natalie more when this happened because I have also done many idiotic choices for what I believed was love. After River has shown me that as you grow older and a love gets stronger the ability to proceed with sane actions are almost impossible.

  • Anne
    2019-04-21 05:08

    I've now read both of Donna Milner's novels and I want more! 'After River' is a delicious read, I devoured every page.Milner's writing is wonderful, the reader almost feels as though they are living alongside the Ward family - there is so much love and emotion expressed on the pages. The story is about keeping secrets and the twists and turns in the plot kept me hooked, just as one twist is revealed, there is another one to cope with - usually totally unexpected and giving a completely different slant to the story.The characterisation is brilliant and the sense of place amazing. It was very interesting to read about the treatment of the so-called 'draft dodgers' during the Vietnam war who fled to Canada. The small-town mentality that runs as a theme of the book is so well done and so cruel and just shows how ignorance and hate can destroy a whole family.I'm really looking forward to reading Donna Milner's next novel.

  • Debbie
    2019-04-12 23:08

    I loved this book! I was born a year before the protagonist, Natalie Ward, and also grew up in the turbulent sixties. At fifteen, Natalie can't imagine a better life that the one she's living with her loving family on a working dairy farm in British Columbia, just over the US border. When River Jordan, a war resister from the US arrives to work as hand on the farm, the complex relationships among the family members change, until everything they have is lost. It is a book about love andfamily relationships, prejudice and intolerance, and most of all the terrible alienation that can come from keeping secrets.I have seldom been so moved by a novel--and I read a lot. Probably because After River takes place in the era that shaped who I became, as it did Natalie. I had a good cry at the end. This is a book not to be missed. Donna Milner is my new favorite author.

  • Anne
    2019-04-15 01:22

    There was a lot to like about this book: the beautiful British Columbia setting, the well-developed characters, the flawed but likeable narrator, and the slowly revealed story of the secrets and tragedies that splintered a formerly "perfect" family. It has a lot of similarities to We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates, but not nearly so melodramatic and much more hopeful. This was an enjoyable read--fairly predictable, but engrossing and worth recommending to someone who likes family stories.

  • Hannah
    2019-03-31 00:08

    I loved this book, it is extremely rare for me to read something that brings tears but this one did.The writing is beautiful, mesmerising and perfectly formed. First comes the background so well defined that all the characters mean so much to the reader. Then the author leads the story slowly drawing out more and more elements of the secret. Allowing the reader to recover shocked from each little bit before adding yet more. It was truely a compelling and well thought out book.

  • Erika
    2019-04-16 00:56

    I had to start this book a second time because I gave up and read something else a few months ago but everyone who had read it said I had to read it too so I decided to take it up again. I'm glad I did. It was a a good story and very well written. I received an uncorrected proof from my bookclub Christmas favourite book exchange. I like the fact that it is set in my neck of the woods!

  • Judy Poke
    2019-04-16 05:00

    Loved this book. Families.....Love, secrets, heartaches & finally truth. One of the best books I've read & I look forward to Donna Milner"s next.

  • Dana
    2019-04-12 05:12

    Can't wait to discuss it at our first book club meeting.

  • Delia
    2019-03-21 23:14

    This book was a really pleasant surprise. It is captivating, with very likeable characters, and a great setting (it's where I live, barely disguised).

  • Maria
    2019-04-13 04:11

    I was having my doubts mid book, but I'm glad I stuck it out. I used up a few tissues at the end. Good book and original subject material.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-28 23:12

    Set in a tranquil dairy farm in Atwood, British Columbia, After River portrayed the flip sides of human nature and depicted the tremendous changes and tragedies of a family. The author used exquisite and expressive language to enrich this story. This book talked about the changes of a family after River Jordan burst into their lives. River was a stranger to Canada, to Atwood and to the Ward family. To avoid joining the troops in the Vietnam War, River escaped to this small town near the border of Canada and America. Love was simple between them until River entered this ‘perfect’ family. Their relationship started to be labyrinthine and twisted. Things started to change when a series of incidents happen to the Ward family all of a sudden. It all started with Natalie’s temptation and curiosity about sex. The teenager Natalie could not restrain her love towards the attractive River anymore. They made love. Yet, River stopped her. He knew it was wrong. What makes this story more captivating was Natalie mother, Nettie, was also tempted by River’s body. However, she saw her daughter left River’s room and knew they had sex. Natalie ran to Boyer’s house immediately when Nettie expelled River. What shocked her more was she saw Boyer and River were sleeping together. Natalie could not stand this outrageous fact and ran away. And the town mayor sexual harassed her. Natalie was forced to face the past and the truth as her mother would die soon. She was touched by the unity of the Ward family. Her wound was healing because they knew their love was unconditional no matter how deep the wounds were. I love the narrative style. The author smartly used first- and third-person narration to portray the story. In addition, the language and device used should be appreciated. For instance, “For a moment I felt an involuntary shiver as if a rude wind had interrupted the serenity of the lake. These sentences are as beautiful and smooth as poems. This story portrayed different sides of people. It urges us not to look on the surface of everything. Do not simply trust someone or something without knowing them thoroughly. But we should trust our family as they support ourselves no matter what happened. “Life is messy.” It was the last words of Natalie’s mother. Yes, life is definitely messy. Relationships are complex. If unexpected things struck you suddenly, your family is the one who support you. Therefore, we must cherish our family.

  • Yannis
    2019-03-23 03:08

    Donna Milner’s After River Book Review Part B – Revised ResponseAfter River is about how Natalie Ward, a middle-aged woman, deals with the horrors of her past. As her mother is on the verge of death, she is forced to come in terms with the past. The majority of the book is written from Natalie’s perspective, but for brief parts in her mother, Nettie’s. A perspective change offers the reader a glimpse from another character’s views, leading to dramatic irony. For instance, Natalie had no feelings toward her “stillborn son”, while Nettie struggled from guilt because she and the doctor set him up for adoption so her family would not live in shame. Although the story progresses slowly at first, it becomes intriguing to find out their past. What could have torn their “perfect family” apart? Milner’s foreshadowing was helpful for predicting their hushed past. For example, “In the picture, Boyer’s elbows rest on his knees; a book is in his hands. He’s not reading though. He’s gazing over the top of the pages at River.” Was Boyer was in love with the new farm helper – another man? As various scenarios lead up to the climax, the reveal becomes suspenseful. Milner’s effective flashback technique contrasts teenage Natalie (as the events occur), with grownup Natalie (as she faces the past). For example, a young Natalie did not accept she was a rape victim. An older Natalie faces the situation, realizing denial is not the answer. The reader recognizes her maturity and desire for conflict resolution when she confronts Mr. Ryan, the man who raped her.I enjoy Milner’s organization style because how each event relates to another is meticulously planned out. Each part contributes to the book as a whole. Some parts seem irrelevant, such as a land mine killing Natalie’s uncle, but it represented war – the time period and tone of the story. Situational irony is used: River is killed by a landmine when Natalie’s grandfather was certain they were all dug out. As a first-time author, Donna Milner has captivated the hearts of several readers, including myself. Reading this book made me consider my views on the “perfect” family. A seemingly good life seen by an outsider means nothing; you don’t know someone else’s past, or how they feel on the inside. Similar to Natalie’s evolution process, I am beginning to speak my thoughts rather than silence them. After River taught me the importance of communication in relationships.

  • Alyssap
    2019-04-13 05:54

    The story After River was written from the perspective of its main character, Natalie Ward. Although, for a couple of chapters the perspective alternates to Natalie's mother, Nettie's point of view. I liked how Donna Miller did that because Nettie plays a substantial role in the novel, and her thoughts and words are important. Not only are they important for understanding the dynamics of their mother-daughter relationship, it also shows the comparison between their personalities. I enjoyed watching Natalie's character evolve. She started off as a young tomboy who was shy and studious with her childlike innocence; believe she would marry the only boy she loved, her brother Boyer. Boyer was her eldest brother she did everything with. He taught her how to read, write and so much more. Not only was he her brother, he was her best friend. Natalie couldn't do anything to make him angry. The plot kicks into high gear when a sweet stranger arrives that Nettie hires to help out on the farm. From the second she sees him Natalie realizes she doesn't want to be viewed as a tomboy anymore. "I stood there frozen, tongue-tied, suddenly feeling the conscious of my childish ponytail, my jeans and loose t-shirt, my tomboyish looks." As the embarrassment settles, she strives to be more physically appealing to him. After establishing this seemingly picture perfect life of a sweet little young girl, her loving family and new unexpected romance, everything changes, as Natalie makes it clear she is harboring some vast secrets that could forever stain the family name. She wonders if her mother had known the events to follow would she have stopped it. But there is no turning back. The plot intensifies to my favourite part until all the secrets come out. I loved the suspense and the anticipation as I flipped ahead hoping to catch a glimpse of something, anything that could possibly tear this family apart. I enjoyed reading After River and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Ingrid Fasquelle
    2019-04-05 21:55

    La quatrième de couverture dit tout ce qu'il faut savoir de ce roman, le premier de Donna Milner. En dévoiler davantage ne ferait qu'éventer les secrets bien gardés de cette famille si aimante et unie... Dès les premières pages, on comprend bien que l'arrivée de ce jeune conscrit américan, réfractaire à la guerre du Viêtnam, sera l'élément perturbateur en bouleversant la vie et les habitudes bien huilées des Ward. Ce jeune River, beau comme un dieu qui prêche la paix, l'amour, la tolérance et qui semble si parfait, n'apportera que trahisons et rancoeurs à cette famille de paysans honnêtes et droits. Bientôt, rien ne sera plus jamais pareil...Autant vous dire que j'ai apprécié ma lecture ! La beauté sauvage des montagnes de la Colombie Britannique, cette ambiance bucolique qui fait place à une tension digne des meilleurs thrillers et ces personnages, simples et si attachants... Il y a là les éléments indispensables d'un très bon roman, que Donna Milner a parfaitement su exploiter. Misant sur le suspense, elle construit son roman comme un thriller et crée une ambiance lourde de mystères et de secrets que le lecteur essaie à tout prix de percer. Jusqu'aux dernières pages, on va de surprises en surprises. Les révélations sont tellement édifiantes et la vérité si horrible qu'on comprend qu'il y a des déchirures qui mettent toute une vie à cicatriser... Un roman magnifique et émouvant à côté duquel il ne faut pas passer !

  • Alesa
    2019-04-07 02:59

    I stumbled upon this book while searching for a novel about Vietnam (in preparation for a trip to Vietnam). I was hoping for something about the culture and history of Vietnam, rather than about the war. The book, however, was really well worth reading. An American draft dodger arrives in rural British Columbia in the 1960s to work as a dairy hand. The whole community is against conscientious objectors. Nevertheless, the American quickly becomes like part of the family, creating enormous drama.This is a very tightly woven story, very well-plotted with some good surprises. I enjoyed reading all the cultural descriptions of my youth. The author had to have lived this herself in order to have done such a great job with the details. Her characters ring very true, and have many layers of depth to them. She does a great job talking about big life challenges like death, betrayal, and forgiveness. Once I got into the characters, I was totally hooked.Oh -- also, it was fun reading about life in the Cascade mountain foothills, before farms were totally mechanized, and about the wonderfully unique Pacific Northwest culture -- north of the border, that is.

  • Nikki Bywater
    2019-04-21 04:18

    Growing up in the 1960’s on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia, Natalie Ward is surrounded by her loving family. She is particularly close to her eldest brother Boyer. She does not know much about life outside her cosy somewhat cocooned family setting.In the summer she turns fifteen a stranger comes to work on the farm. An American draft-dodger called River; he would test the morals and beliefs of the family and community to breaking point. The series of events following that summer day would leave relationships shattered and the Ward family changed forever.This is a brilliant read. An emotionally charged novel from beginning to end it flips back and forth between the present day and back to the 1960’s. It tells the story of how events that happen can completely change people’s lives. The storyline is superbly written, it is sad in parts and there is some tragedy. You get straight into the story from the first page and the story just carries you along at a nice pace. You do get quite emotionally attached to the characters, especially Natalie.I really recommend this book it is an excellent read.

  • elmarcapaginasbooks
    2019-04-21 03:15

    3.5Termine el libro con sentimientos encontrados, para comenzar quiero separar el libro a la mitad, en cuanto a la primer mitad no hay mucho que decir, cuenta por medio de flashbacks la vida de una nena que vivia en una granja, feliz y contenta, con una familia super unida y conservadora, pero antes de que cumpla los 16 años llega a su vida un personaje nuevo llamado River, y es ahi donde decidi terminar la primer parte del libro, bastante densa y lenta de leer, sin mucho aporte, solo le da profundidad a los personajes pero me parece que 200 hojas para eso es demasiado.Ahora, cuando empieza la segunda parte todo cambia, las vidas de los protagonistas se destrozan en una serie de acontecimientos tragicos que suceden en cadena, ahora en la actualidad, es momento de revelar los secretos y afrontar la realidad de una vez por todas.Las ultimas 150 hojas son desgarradoras y crudas, remontaron muchisimo la historia que hasta el momento no decia mucho.Recomendado si quieren leer una historia larga, no muy rapida de leer y con una carga dramatica importante.

  • Chelsey Jensen
    2019-04-21 02:17

    This book is un-freaking-believable. I love it to pieces. I think it's safe to say this is my favourite book. I was aprehensive to read it, but a teacher of mine insisted that I read it , and am I ever glad I did. I would have never thought it would be possible to have so much drama and horrible unrelated events happen in one book with it coming together smoothly, but Donna Milner does exactly that. There are so many little details and dramatic event occuring throughout the book that it keeps the reader more than interested but it doesn't seem speratic or absent-minded, all of it seems to flow beautifully. Speaking of beautiful , Donna has a brilliant way of decribing the setting and putting the most vivid image in your head, like it feels like you're practically sitting watching from the sidelines the entire time. I really don't think I have ever read a more beautiful and capitivating book ever.

  • Shonna Froebel
    2019-04-08 00:20

    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in a small town southern B.C. in the late 1960s. Natalie Ward lives on a dairy farm with her family of three older brothers. The family has been in her father's family for a few generations and everyone pulls their weight on the farm. When the hired man leaves, Natalie's mother takes on a young draft-dodger from the States to help out. River may dress a bit different than they are used to, but he knows about dairy farming and soon fits into their lives comfortably.River's presence on the farm changes the family dynamic and eventually disrupts the close family life. Natalie left the farm when she was seventeen, and now as her mother is dying returns to the farm to face the truth of what happened back thirty-five years earlier. This novel covers the family relationships, emotions, culture of both the times and of small-town life.This is Milner's first novel, but she has a strong voice and this story was well-told.

  • Laura
    2019-04-08 04:09

    I hate it when blurbs or publicists tell you that a book is "just like" some other author's work or another book. This one says it's like Anita Shreve and Carol Shields. So there was a slight prejudice in my mind when I picked it up.Prejudice begone! I found the book interesting, and I could see where the comparisons were coming from. This is one of those quiet books, told in a "here now/flashback then" style. I found it also reminiscent of Haruf's Plainsong and Diamant's Last Days of Dogtown (see, when a fellow reader does it, it's more like shorthand and less like sales, imvho).Some of the plot I'd guessed long before it was actually revealed, but that didn't bug me as much as it normally does. It's on sale in April 08. Pre-order now!

  • Mom2nine
    2019-04-05 02:58

    Well done first novel! I did not want to put this book down, Milner's characters came to life. A strong, happy family until one day of mistakes and lies to cover their errors. One comment, though, the point is made that the difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that the soldiers chose to go to Iraq. The soldiers who I have known, choose to serve their country. They do not choose where to fight and many do not necessarily choose to fight at all, as the majority of military jobs are non-combat. Or to look at it another way, perhaps if the military were not "volunteer" the country would be much angrier about the battles that our country is now fighting, as they were during the Vietnam era.