The River by Starlight

Ellen Not­bohm

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - HAN­NAH WIL­LIAMS

She Writes Press (MAY) Soft­cover $16.95 (256pp) 978-1-63152-335-9

The River by Starlight is a cap­ti­vat­ing trib­ute to the heal­ing power of love.

An­nie Rush­ton leaves her home­town for her brother’s Mon­tana farm, where she meets Adam, a fel­low farmer who is also stead­fastly pur­su­ing a sin­gu­lar fu­ture. Their con­nec­tion is im­me­di­ate.

The ro­mance moves at a rushed pace at first, but slows as the novel pro­gresses. Their re­la­tion­ship blooms from their meet-cute; the novel fol­lows them as newly wed­ded sweet­hearts and fi­nally into a sea­soned part­ner­ship. An­nie and Adam both have dreams of parenthood, but An­nie suf­fers from a mys­te­ri­ous ill­ness that in­fects her mind and curses her preg­nan­cies, putting their fu­ture in jeop­ardy.

Within the first chap­ters, An­nie’s heartache is ap­par­ent. Vivid lan­guage de­scribes her past grief and losses, set­ting a clear foun­da­tion for her as a char­ac­ter. She and Adam en­dure many tri­als through­out their re­la­tion­ship, and also ex­pe­ri­ence much joy and tri­umph in spite of tragedy.

The writ­ing is ex­quis­ite, with para­graphs flow­ing to­gether har­mo­niously. The char­ac­ters’ thoughts and feel­ings are ex­pressed in de­tail, and world-build­ing is gen­uine and thought­ful.

An­nie is an ac­ces­si­ble lead whose thought pro­cesses are clearly de­scribed, and Adam is equally dis­tinct. The book is metic­u­lous about char­ac­ter­iz­ing men­tal ill­ness and its im­pli­ca­tions, both per­sonal and com­mu­nity-wide. Moth­er­hood, preg­nancy, and the great love and loss that can come with both are well por­trayed.

The story is en­gross­ing and moves steadily from the very be­gin­ning. Themes of moth­er­hood, aban­don­ment, gen­der roles, and the sig­nif­i­cance of part­ner­ships are con­tin­u­ally ad­dressed.

The River by Starlight weaves heartache and re­demp­tion to­gether to il­lu­mi­nate the power of love in life’s dark­est mo­ments.

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