I love John Irving as an author. This is only my third novel of his, but he is a magical writer. His books are very character driven, and are what I can only describe as a slow burn. The plots of his novels are not really page turners in the traditional sense, but slowly tell the story of his unique characters. In many ways, this book describes how Irving writes a novel through the story of the main character who is a writer. I would have given this five stars, but I thought there were a few parts that dragged a bit, and I did not love the ending. Great read though and looking forward to another Irving novel.
The fabulous cover for The River Keepers by Michael F Stewart is done by Martin Stiff. Great job, Martin.
I love when a cover depicts the story inside and Martin’s cover was only the first step drawing me into the adventure.
I had read A Cold Dark Place by Michael F Stewart and loved it, so when Michael offered me a copy of The River Keepers for review, I snatched it up and began to read.
I love that the adventure is in their own backyard. So…after your children read this, you may see them outside, looking…
Natasha and Teagan are sisters. Actually, they are more than that. They are twins, mirror opposites.
A freak storm. A downed tree. What’s that I see?
At eleven years old they are off on an adventure that leads them to research and learning, getting lost in the magic and growing in ways they never could have foreseen. Their adventures will not only change their lives, but their parents too.
I love how Michael slips a little science and ecology into the story in a way that is sure to intrigue everyone. I love when there is a lesson to be learned and it is wrapped up in a wonderful and entertaining tale, sending a subtle message to all who read it.
A skunk, a mouse, a frog…what would it be like to walk and hop in their footsteps?
You will never look at critters…or gnomes…the same way again.
When the skunk sprayed…I laughed out loud.
When the mouse squeaked…I cringed in fear.
Michael F Stewart has created a magically wonderful adventure that is suitable for all ages. To all you adults out there…let your inner child run wild!
MY MICHAEL F STEWART REVIEWS
It's no secret to anyone who follows and/or knows me that I adore the books this author writes, and this Christmas story is no exception.
The book begins with Micah Trant, early 20s, driving home at night, in the snow, somewhere in Wyoming, when the lights of his car shine upon what looks to be just a bundle of clothing. Micah stops the car and realizes that he has found a badly beaten young man who's nearly frozen to death.
Micah immediately takes the young man to the nearest hospital and refuses to leave him. Greg, the young man, may be a stranger, but Micah will not abandon him alone in a hospital, and certainly not once he finds out the extent of Greg's injuries.
Greg came to Wyoming to deliver a letter from his late father to Joshua Trant - who just happens to be Micah's father. Once that information is revealed, both Micah and Joshua convince Greg to come home with them to recuperate. Micah and his father and sister are still grieving the loss of their mother and wife not quite two years ago, while Greg is still struggling with the more recent loss of his father and the many years he missed out on truly knowing the man, since he was so very young when they divorced.
This story is a sweet and quiet romance as feelings start to develop between Micah and Greg, and also a tale of lost love, not just once but twice, bittersweet memories and grief for what might have been, if it hadn't been for societal norms and disapproving parents. It's about family, the one you're born into and the one you choose for yourself. It's about missing what you've lost, but also learning to live again.
Joshua, Micah's father, and Naomi, Micah's younger sister, play a huge role in this book as well - the focus isn't on the slowly developing romance - and they were both very supportive of Micah, his art, and his sexuality. I would love for Joshua to get his own story in a future book, one in which he learns to open himself up to living again and perhaps finding someone to spend the rest of his life with. My heart broke while reading about his grief, and the deep and abiding love he had for both Greg's father when they were mere teenage boys, and his wife, whom he lost too soon.
There are many poignant moments within, and as days turn into weeks, and the Trants and Greg prepare for Christmas, the story becomes about shared laughs and smiles, and finding joy again.
This is not a story filled with sexy times - while Micah may be a bit more experienced than Greg, neither has been in a relationship before, and Greg has only recently come to terms with his own sexuality. He's not out to his mother, and never had a chance to come out to his father either. There are tentative hugs that turn into sweet kisses and nights spent in the same bed, cuddling. And it's not about the sex - I think having Micah and Greg go at it repeatedly and explicitly would have been very detrimental to the story and the message of this book.
I think this book truly showcases the talent of this author - conveying real emotions with realistic, fully developed and complex characters that the reader can connect with and cheer on.
Recommend holiday reading!
** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **