Monday, July 21, 2008

Review: Time Is a River

For the second installment in the Southern Summer Reading Challenge, I chose Time Is a River by Mary Alice Monroe.

I have no good reason why I haven't read anything by this author before. She seems very much along the same lines as Anne Rivers Siddons and Dorothea Benton Frank, both of whom I like very much, so I'm surprised that I haven't picked up one of her 10 previous novels, all set in the South.

Her latest is a captivating read, rich in details and full of small-town "Southern-ness."

Returning home to Charleston after a fly-fishing retreat for cancer survivors in North Carolina, Mia Landan finds her husband in their bed with another woman. Stricken, she goes to the first place she can think of...back to the site of the retreat. Her instructor, Belle Carson, loans her the old family cabin in the woods for the summer as a place to lick her wounds.

Belle's family is legendary in the small town, and as Mia settles into the cabin, restoring it to a liveable condition, she learns more and more about Kate Watkins, the previous inhabitant of the cabin and Belle's grandmother (and the subject of many long-held rumors).

In her journey back to herself, Mia develops independence, a love of fly fishing, and an understanding of (and kinship with) the woman many residents vilified and speculated about for years.

I really enjoyed Monroe's writing style. I felt very connected to her thorough descriptions...I could really visualize the cabin going from shabby to sparkling, I could smell the woods, and I could hear the river. Her words brought the book to life off of the paper.

I think this should make your TBR list, particularly if you are a Southerner. I will definitely check out her other books.


Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

This sounds like a really good book to relax with ... thanks for the great review!

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) said...

Being a southerner, I think I'd LOVE this book. I haven't read any of this authors books, but I have read several Dorothea Benton Franks and I liked them very much. Thanks for the review and recommendation! I'll keep my eye out for Mary Alice Monroe!

LisaMM said...

This sounds really good. I like books set in the south. Thanks for the review!

Les said...

This sounds like a winner!! I've only read one book by MAM and I really enjoyed it. It was a book about a book group, of all things! Thanks for the recommendation for her new one. I love the setting and the idea of learning how to fly fish. Adding it to my list. :)

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Unknown said...

I loved this review. This sounds like a great book to read with a wonderful story. I have added it to my TBR list.