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A Bend in the Willow by [Clayton-Goldner, Susan]
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A Bend in the Willow Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 263 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

Willowood, Kentucky 1965 - Robin Lee Carter sets a fire that kills her rapist, then disappears. She reinvents herself and is living a respectable life as Catherine Henry, married to a medical school dean in Tucson, Arizona. In 1985, when their 5-year-old son, Michael, is diagnosed with a chemotherapy-resistant leukemia, Catherine must return to Willowood, face her family and the 19-year-old son, a product of her rape, she gave up for adoption. She knows her return will lead to a murder charge, but Michael needs a bone marrow transplant. Will she find forgiveness, and is she willing to lose everything, including her life, to save her dying son?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3016 KB
  • Print Length: 263 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing (18 January 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N0HL432
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #346,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
In 1965, Robin Lee Carter ran away from a life of tragedy and abuse, and reinvented herself as Catherine Henry. Twenty years later, her son is dying of leukemia and can only be saved by a bone marrow transplant from a relative. Catherine/Robin Lee has to face up to her past and reunite with her family if she has any hope of saving him.

Borrowing elements of both the thriller and the romance novel, the story alternates between three narrators: Catherine in the third person, Catherine's husband Ben in the third person, and Robin Lee's flashback memories, narrated in the first person. This use of three narrative voices could have been confusing, but it is handled skillfully, highlighting the growing divisions between Catherine and Ben, as her past comes to light, and the decreasing distance between Catherine and her younger self, as their story lines come together, finally collapsing when Catherine returns to Robin Lee's childhood home and confronts the memories waiting for her there. As the story progresses, tension--and pathos--is heightened as the central tragedy of Robin Lee's life is gradually revealed, against the backdrop of Catherine's son's worsening illness. The language is in turns lyrical and painfully raw, sometimes falling back on diction reminiscent of genre fiction as the characters struggle with their secrets, but always evoking the sights and scents of the settings: a hospital room in the pediatric oncology ward, a root cellar in rural Kentucky. This is not a light and fluffy read, even though it is not long, and the vividness of the descriptions means that readers struggling with abuse or illness may find it challenging. However, it is ultimately a story of hope and healing.

My thanks to the author for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars True page turner 10 June 2017
By Diane Lynch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A Bend In The Willow by Susan Clayton-Goldner. Published by TIRGEARR Publishing. I would like to thank the author and publisher for my complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my own voluntary unbiased opinion.

Life is hard. No one knows that better than the main character, Robin Lee Carter. She is a young girl in the 1950’s. Her home is in a small town named Wildwood, Kentucky. She endures many different types of abuse. The family struggles financially to get by. Robin Lee’s mom, who is her rock, makes it paramount that daughter will have what she needs to have a wonderful life as an adult. Eventually her moms dreams for her come true. A new state. A new name. Her past life and present life collide when her little boy is fighting for his life

All of the characters are well developed. The plot is original. It moves quickly using flashbacks when necessary. This is an involved story which is easy to follow

I love this novel. Once I started it I just wanted to read the entire book straight threw but life gets in the way. A true page turner.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book a must read 11 April 2017
By j. george - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a must read. It takes you on so many emotions from anger, love, hope to honesty, forgiveness and loyalty. I have to admit I cried at the end. It pulled me in right from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. A woman changes her name trying to leave behind a traumatic past, only to have it all brought back to her when her son needs a bone marrow transplant. Thank you Susan Clayton-Goldner for asking me to review this book. I highly recommend this book and look forward to many more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would love if the author would have a sequel 8 February 2017
By Karen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Bend in the Willow. As a reviewer I usually do not tell the story line. Why ruin it for all new readers. This book was and unbelievable read. The amount of twist and turns had me by the seat of my pants. The pain of a mother and her past life and new life was heartfelt. She spent 20 years struggling with her past. I can not tell you how this book grabbed me as a avid reader. It is a definite must read. I would love if the author would have a sequel. There are so many questions left unanswered about the new family in her life. I look so forward to Susan Clayton-Goldner's new books.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tension, Family, and Small Town Atmosphere 24 January 2017
By Helen Hogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tension, Feelings, and Southern Small Town Atmosphere
By Helen Hogan

In A Bend in the Willow, Susan Clayton-Goldner writes a captivating tale of a strong woman’s devotion to her family and her choking guilt over a mysterious past. Through multiple viewpoints we share the emotions of the three most important characters: Catharine, aka Robin Lee, her husband Ben, and her brother Kyle.
An event when Robin Lee is seven focuses the reader on the child's fear of her drunken father as he shoves her in a trashcan in his helpless rage that another child called her, “dirty junkyard trash.” The Pologue also reveals the courage and resourcefulness of Momma as role model and Robin Lee’s close friendship with older brother Kyle.
The book is really the story of Catharine Henry the sophisticated and dedicated woman who has reinvented herself. An erly disagreement between Catharine and her husband Ben Henry, prominent physician contrasts their up-bringing. Ben would humiliate their five year old to punish him for lifting a toy sheriff’s badge, believing honesty is the most important character quality. Catharine would ”never humiliate my son.” The argument arouses Catharine’s guilt about her past and stimulates reader identity with her while increasing curiosity about her painful past.
In sharp contrast, Chapter Two shows Ben the tender father and thrusts the family into the crisis of their lives. As Ben and five-year-old Mikey head home from a sunset birthday ride, the boy’s horse spooks, stumbles, and throws the child against a tree root. The ensuing hospital visit launches the novel’s life and death struggle, for in the exam of the boy’s concussion doctors find Leukemia, a form resistant to chemotherapy.
Flashbacks show Catharine’s relationship with her family, develop a theme of hard work, and show Kyle’s protectiveness for his little sister. Kyle caught fireflies and put them in a jar for Robin Lee to allay her fear of the dark. When the doctors declare that only a bone marrow transplant will save Mikey who is suffering all the horrors of chemotherapy, Catharine realizes she must revisit her past.
Blood relatives have the best chance of a match. She reveals she had a child who would be nineteen now. Ben cannot hide his shock and sense of betrayal. Catharine tries to contact her son but runs into obstacles. She must try her only other option, her brother Kyle.
Throughout Catharine’s maneuvering, Clayton-Goldner intersperses scenes of Ben with Mikey in his exhaustion after chemo and listlessness in temporary remission. Ben researches Mikey’s disease while the frail child sleeps, holds his hand and reads to him while he’s awake. Ben sacrifices his own dream of being a medical school dean because he cannot stay with his son and do the dean’s work of a university hospital. All the while, he frets over the woman he has loved and trusted who has lived a lie.
Tension builds as Catharine returns to Willowood. Her brother put a gravestone for Robin Lee assuming she died in the fire. The scenes in this setting move from the sweetness and innocence of meeting Kyle’s child LaraLee to the painful flashback of the rape and the fire. Clayton -Goldner shows skill in the violent action remembered and the feelings of guilt and horror blending with the determination of the seventeen year old Robin Lee.
The author understands the importance of smells to emotion and memory, from the smells of the sour buttermilk in the trash can to the smells associated with her father, gasoline and whiskey most prominent.
As early as the Prologue the reader had the information that solves the final danger to Catharine. She had several times feared being charged with murder if she returned. With only one more meeting,she is ready to go home. She and Ben talk, and she packs to meet him and Mikey the next day at St. Jude’s in Memphis.
But Sheriff Preston puts a lot together,and holds Catharine overnight in jail, her only comfort a clean blanket. Catharine remembers he is a good father who has recently lost his daughter. He dashes home to do more searching.
In crafting her ending, Clayton-Goldner satisfies the reader without reliance on maudlin details.

Best Wishes, Helen Check out helenhogan.com for a preview of my newest novel, RIDGECREST RESCUE
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New twist on a recurring premise. 20 January 2017
By Kate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Definitely worth reading. It's a tale about surviving, being the person you promised your Mother you would become. To succeed, the heroine had to sever all ties. That means she had no idea what happened to those she loved and left, no idea even what they believe happed to her. A new identity also means that your new life is founded on lies, until the day your new life and identy implodes.

It's a common premise that's been presented many times for eons. Susan Clayton-Goldner has successfully given us a story that is fresh, plausible, and gripping. I started it late at night and got far too little. sleep.