The River Widow Paperback – Unabridged, 1 December 2018
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- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing; Unabridged edition (1 December 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1503903346
- ISBN-13 : 978-1503903340
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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"Ann Howard Creel's accomplished, fluid storytelling makes for a pacey, page-turning read." --Gemma Liviero, author of Pastel Orphans and Broken Angels
"The River Widow grabbed me from the first page. Ann Howard Creel's elegant and vivid prose brings to life a remarkable woman's struggle against oppressive forces during one of the darkest periods of American history. Haunting and ultimately uplifting, The River Widow is one of the best books I've read this year." --Olivia Hawker, author of The Ragged Edge of Night
"The River Widow by Ann Howard Creel shows a mother's fierce love for a child of her heart." --Laila Ibrahim, bestselling author of Yellow Crocus and Mustard Seed
"The River Widow paints a vivid picture of life on a 1937 tobacco farm under the shadow of one family's corruption and exploitation of others. A page-turner from the start, the story draws you in with a simple but compelling question: After murdering her husband in self-defense, can a young woman save her child from the cruelty of her in-laws?"--D.M. Pulley, bestselling author of The Buried Book
"Ann Howard Creel weaves a haunting, compelling tale. This simmering novel grips you and draws you in." --Ella Carey, bestselling author of The House by the Lake
About the Author
Ann Howard Creel was born in Austin, Texas, and worked as a registered nurse before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of seven books for children and young adults as well as five adult novels, including The Uncertain Season, The Whiskey Sea, and While You Were Mine. Her children's books have won several awards, and her novel The Magic of Ordinary Days was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS. Creel currently lives and writes in Paris, Kentucky, where she is renovating an older house. Follow her at www.annhowardcreel.com.
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Top reviews from Australia
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In 1937, with flood waters approaching, Adah Branch accidentally kills her abusive husband, Lester, and surrenders his body to the raging river, only to be swept away herself...
This is a great story, so enjoyed it, definitely worth the read.
Top reviews from other countries
The premise is interesting. During the Great Depression, battered wife Adah kills her abusive husband in self defence during a dangerous flood. Whilst the flood would give her a great excuse to cover up the killing and escape to pastures new and start over, her sense of responsibility to her dead husband's daughter by his first wife means she's unwilling to run. In order to be with her step-daughter, she has to live with her in-laws - and they are every bit as horrible as her husband.
Adah knows she's not wanted and is barely tolerated by her in-laws who are convinced that she has killed their boy. She's torn between sticking around to get her share of her husband's estate and worrying that she'll get bumped off by the family to make sure they don't have to share.
I found the sense of menace and oppression was handled very well but somehow never quite developed into anything very solid or got as bad as it could have done. The plot development wasn't great - it was all rather linear and you could see exactly where things were headed. The end when it finally came felt rushed and unconvincing and a lot of loose ends were still left loose. The writing style was very simplistic and naive. Whilst this was in keeping with the education and style of the characters, it felt rather clunky whenever the author tried to apply a bit more of a sense of style. Similes were poor and very obvious, and there's a character whose compliments about Adah are bizarrely 'bakery-focused' (she has a neck like a piece of white cake - seriously?).
Interesting premise but overall delivered a bit clumsily.
I found myself entirely unable to give up reading as I was genuinely unsure of how the book would end, it was not predictable in any way; it doesn't often happen that you have a real sense of peril in fiction and I found the conclusion really satisfying and apt. It certainly didn't pull any punches, which I often feel like we are protected from as readers and not trusted to enjoy as an experience, so this was refreshing.
I love reading about events in history I don't know about and the description of the great flood of 37 was very immersive and interesting. I will definitely be seeking out more of this author's work- sublime! Thank you.
So a generally ok read but I was disappointed with the wishy washy storyline.