The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

I was immediately swept into this book with the prologue.  Neil Kazenzakis is employed as a teacher by the Port Manitou School District.  Neil is directed to attend an educational conference in Wisconsin and he takes with him his wife, Wendy, and son, Christopher.  It was to be a relaxing mini vacation for them.  Then, the unthinkable happens, a terrible accident in the pool and Wendy is flown to the University Hospital which leaves her in a vegetative state.  And the story unfolds ---

This is a captivating story about the power of family love, loss, sacrifice, and survival.  The author does an amazing job of getting into the hearts and minds of the characters and a lot of drama unfolds.

One negative comment:  After the prologue, which grabbed me, I struggled with this book early on for several chapters, almost giving up - too much information.  But, I'm glad I continued on - I eventually became engaged in the storyline as the chapters really started to flow with many twists and turns and a myriad of obstacles to overcome.  There were splashes of humor spread throughout and I especially loved the father-son relationship between Neil and Chris - very touching.

The last several chapters and the ending were my favorite part of the book.  The chapters were written beautifully with poignancy that will absolutely touch your heart and an ending filled with new beginnings.

This is a wonderful debut novel by Jon Harrison and I'll be watching for future books by him.  My rating is 3.5 stars.