Saturday, June 05, 2010
The Last River Child
The Last River Child. Lori Ann Bloomfield. 2010. Second Story Press. 280 pages.
Every child in the village of Walvern is told this story...
The Last River Child is such a compelling story. Set in Canada during World War I, it tells the story of an (often) unhappy family. Our heroine, Peg, is rumored to be 'the river child.' Which in this small-minded, oh-so-superstitious community is bad news indeed. Her mother, while alive, fought for her child. She hated the community who would make her daughter, her baby, an outcast. Unfortunately, on the very day that war is declared, Peg's mother dies. And life for Peg and her sister, her older sister, Sarah, is never quite the same. Their father, who had his difficult moments even when his wife lived, becomes angry, bitter, depressed. More and more the girls notice their father drinking his troubles away. (Of course, that isn't a lasting solution. It leads to problem of its own.)
Peg was a heroine that I could love. And this community--though far from perfect--was one that I could appreciate. The drama is a family one in many ways. Exploring the complicated relationships between family members--especially between siblings. I also liked learning the story of Peg's mother, Rose. Readers also see the impact of war on a family, on a small community. I loved reading this book. It was so well-written. The characters were so human that you couldn't help feeling for them. I couldn't put this one down. It was just that good.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews