***Original Review posted on GinsBookNotes .com 7/1/13***
I believe that Tess Thompson does a beautiful job of telling a story of perseverance, hope, healing, community, and love in her first book in the River Valley series, Riversong.
Her main character, Lee Tucker, was an only child raised by an alcoholic mother in the small town of River Valley, Oregon. She was forced to take on adult responsibilities and never really enjoyed her life. At 17 she is offered a college art scholarship, she takes it and leaves her mother and River Valley behind.
Fast forward 20 years and Lee is a successful married business woman when her world is rocked by her husband’s suicide, an unexpected pregnancy, and a loan shark looking to collect on her husband’s million dollar debt. Lee escapes back to her hometown in hopes of renovating and then selling the family farm so that she can pay off the debt and remain alive.
One of the things that I really enjoyed was that the characters emotions are true to life. The guilt and what if’s that Lee experiences after her husband’s suicide and her needing to know the details of how he killed himself are so spot on. Also, when you take into context her childhood and the caretaker role she played to her mother, you can understand how she so easily became complacent in her married life.
I read some reviews that thought book was too “preachy” in parts. I did not find this to be true. There are a couple of characters that have a strong relationship with God and the conversations that Lee has with them relay their faith but again I felt this reflected true to life circumstances if one were to encounter a similar personality in their own life. I guess what I am saying is yes there are mentions of God and faith but it fits in with the character and feels authentic to the story line.
There were some plots in the story that were a little unrealistic. Such as, Lee returning to her hometown to hide from the loan shark enforcer guy. That does seem like the first place they would check but it was something I just shrugged and looked past because it didn’t distract from the over all story.
If you enjoy a heartwarming tale of perseverance and hope and like to be left with the warm fuzzies when you end a book then I think you would enjoy Tess Thompson’s, Riversong.
(review of free book)