Go as a River
by Shelley Read
Publication Date February 28, 2023
Published by Doubleday Canada
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Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Women
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
In the spirit of Where the Crawdads Sing, and set amid the beauty and wilderness of the Colorado mountains, an unforgettable and deeply moving story of a young woman who follows her heart
Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family's peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land but determined to live as he chooses.
Victoria's chance encounter with Wil on a street corner profoundly alters both of their young lives, igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known, fleeing into the nearby mountains. Taking shelter in a small hut, she struggles to survive in the wilderness, with no clear notion of what her future will be. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the natural world the strength and meaning that set her on a quest to regain all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River rises to submerge her homeland—its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.
Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the midst of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and finally, home—where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river—gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when the river is dammed.
Go as a River by Shelley Read is a beautifully written, poignant story about one woman’s journey after a fateful choice that changed her life forever.
Victoria Nash is a teenager in the 1940s living on her family’s peach farm. As the only woman in the family, she learned to run the household early. She meets a mysterious stranger in town, Wilson Moon (Wil), a young drifter from the local tribal lands. Although dusty and grimy, Will has kind eyes and Will and Victoria are immediately drawn to each other. However, a white woman with a native man is not acceptable to many in those times and tragedy ensues.
Hard to believe this novel is written by a debut author. The writing is beautiful and drew me right in. I also loved the setting of southwest Colorado. I’ve visited that area of the country many times, and some of the locations of the story are very familiar to me.
The blurb didn’t grab me and when I got to this book, I wasn’t excited to read it. But, from the very first page, the writing and the story drew me in and I found myself engrossed in the story immediately. It’s also a book I continue to think about long after I read the last page.
I highly recommend Go As a River to anyone who enjoys fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I like both covers, but this UK version has the river on the page.
Go as a River counts towards my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023.
Have you read Go as a River? Which cover do you prefer?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023
The US cover seems to have not gotten the theme; it is disjointed. The UK cover flows. Great review!
Funny that you weren’t eager to read it, but somehow you requested it. I also have this book to read and am looking forward to it more now that I have read your wonderful review. There have been some great debut books in the last little while.
This one is new to me and I’ve added it to my wishlist. I agree the UK cover is better. I would have clicked for more info.
Sounds like a good read. I think I like the UK cover best. Happy reading!
Wow, this sounds like a wonderful book. I can only imagine how beautiful the setting must be. I love both covers too. Great review Wendy!
It’s good when a book surprises you, great review
This sounds like it would be a good but also maybe hard read.
Sounds touching and emotional read. Amazing review, Wendy!
This sounds like a lovely read Wendy! I prefer the UK cover. I really enjoyed your review.
It’s nice when a book surprises us and draws us in! I’ve been there a few times. Great review!
It’s always great when a debut author is impressive. It sounds like a great book and we enjoy the comparison to Where the Crawdads Sing.
I like the UK cover better! Excellent review Wendy. I’m moving this one up on my TBR mountain!📚💜
Thank you, Susan!
I love that this was such a pleasant surprise for you! This sounds like such a beautiful read. Wonderful review Wendy!
Thank you, Rae
I love books like this that end up surprising me. So glad you enjoyed it so much. Excellent review!
Thank you, Tessa
I prefer the UK cover and the book sounds excellent.
Thank you, Cathy
I love it when you read a debut author and you can’t hardly believe it’s their first book. It’s bee a while since I was blown away like that. And I just love the UK covers, it’s so beautiful!
Yes, It’s fun to find a really, really good debut author
I’m reading this right now. I love both covers, but the US cover with the woman’s picture inside the peach is probably my favorite.
It’s a nice cover! I like them both.
I do enjoy it when you add the different covers. I like both of these, where sometimes there is a distinct difference and I do have a favourite.
I’m fascinated with different covers for the same book. I always wonder why?
This one does sound really good and I love the UK cover.
I think the UK cover reflects the story better