Book Review: River’s Call

30 Mar

Anna Larson’s daughter, Lauren, is confused, brokenhearted, and misguided. It’s the turbulent 1960s and, feeling alienated from her mother, Lauren chooses to stay with her paternal grandmother. However, repelled by the woman’s manipulative and spiteful ways, Lauren returns to her mother, the river, and the Inn at Shining Waters.

There, Lauren begins to appreciate the person her mother is becoming–and she loves the river. However, romantic interests throw a wrench into the works and Lauren, jealous and angry, returns to her grandmother yet again.

But as time passes, Lauren, now a mother to her own defiant teenager, faces a new crisis–one that puts the entire family at risk.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 50 books for children, teens, and adults. Her young-adult titles include Jessica, The Allison O’Brian Chronicles, Letters from God for Teens, and Diary of a Teenage Girl. Her fiction books include The Whispering Pine series, Isaac’s Angel, Awakening Heart, Heartland Skies, The Wise Man’s House, and Homeward. Melody also published the nonfiction title How to Start a Quality Child Care Business in Your Home.

Melody has enjoyed careers as a preschool teacher, political activist, and senior editor; she currently writes full-time from her home. She lives in Sisters, Oregon, with her husband and two teenage sons. The family enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, and boating in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

My Impressions:

River’s Call is the second book in the Inn at Shining Waters series by Melody Carlson.  This is not a standalone novel.  If you have not read River’s Song (my review HERE), go get it first, then you will be ready to dive into the continuing story of Anna Gunderson Richards and her quest to bring healing and peace through her Inn on the Suislaw River of Oregon.  Now on to my review.

River’s Call takes up where River’s Song left off.  Anna is now married to Clark and they are working hard to make her dream of an Inn a reality.  Lauren, Anna’s daughter, is off at college and all seems like it is going well until Lauren finds herself pregnant and unwed.  While Lauren’s grandmother and future mother-in-law plot to get Lauren and Donald married, Anna is cautious in her advice.  Having spent her adult life in a situation she could not control, Anna wants something better for Lauren.  But family and cultural pressures win out, and Lauren finds herself married with a child, both situations she is definitely not ready for.

River’s Call is filled with sadness, yet hope peeks out throughout.  The years pass by with Lauren more and more troubled and estranged from Anna.  But Sarah, Lauren’s daughter, brings joy to Anna’s life, and she finds in her granddaughter a kindred spirit.  Definitely a generational novel, River’s Call explores how our relationships and choices impact not only our own lives but of those that come after.  Many of the characters grow in their understanding of the hurt and damage they have inflicted, and the theme of forgiveness is presented in an authentic way.  The Suislaw River also plays a large part in the story, becoming more of a character than mere setting.

This novel will be followed by the concluding book of the series, River’s End.  It can’t come too quickly for me!  I look forward to the continuing story of Anna, Lauren and Sarah and the resolution to their rocky relationships.



(I received River’s Call from Glass Road PR in return for n honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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