Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review – The River Within by Baxter Clare Trautman

The River Within by Baxter Clare Trautman
Publisher: Baxter Clare Trautman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
 

Book Description From Amazon

“Three women. Three lies. One chance to tell the truth.

The River Within, from Lambda Literary Award nominee, Baxter Clare Trautman, follows three women whose bonds are strained, reforged, and ultimately strengthened as they struggle to choose between the lives they think they should have and the lives they want.

For thirty years Foreign Correspondent Greer Madison has competed brilliantly in a man’s world. But the hardships of a life spent reporting from war zones are catching up to her. In a foolish attempt to impress a young colleague, Greer involves them both in a deadly accident, that only she knows the truth about.

Returning stateside, she recuperates at the home of her best friend, Darlene Richardson. For the first time in the course of their thirty-year friendship Darlene is reluctant to accommodate Greer, for Darlene suddenly has secrets of her own.

Kate, Darlene’s spontaneous, willful daughter is desperate to bring her struggling family together after the death of her brother, Chris. Vowing to settle down and be a “good daughter” Kate becomes engaged to a man she doesn’t love.

While Darlene retreats into her secrets, Kate and Greer find unexpected pleasure in each other’s company. Restless evenings in the Richardson’s guest house foster a deepening intimacy between the two women, culminating with each having to admit the secret they would rather hide. The aftermath of their painful revelations force Darlene’s own confession and with all secrets bared, each woman must choose whether to stay on the safety of the known shore, or dive into the uncharted but healing waters of The River Within.”


Review

4 ½ Stars out of 5

This was a fascinating story where we get to see 3 different women dealing with their own emotional and psychological crisis and the lies they hide behind.  What’s really interesting is that the lies are really the ones that they tell themselves: Darlene and her son’s death; Greer and her career and who she has become; Kate hiding who she is and what she wants in an effort to make everyone else happy. 

One of the most powerful scenes for me was when Darlene kills the Blue Jay who tried to steal the chick.  I was horrified at the visual it created but at the same time it fit perfectly into the turmoil that is Darlene’s life.  I also found it interesting that her daughter Kate appears to be looking for that same blue jay in the next several chapters.  I’m not sure what that symbolism represented but to me it felt like it just represented everything that was wrong in Darleen and Kate’s life at that moment.

Then there is Greer, the war correspondent who seems so lost and I kept waiting for her to do something drastic to ease her own pain and guilt over the death of Sigrid.  I also found myself feeling bad for her because it felt like she was so alone and really needed Darleen, who was just too caught up in her own issues to be emotionally available.

This was well worth the read.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

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