Book Review: River's Song by Melody Carlson

River's Song (The Inn at Shining Waters Series) by Melody Carlson
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: July 2011

For the first time in many years, Anna Gunderson returns to her childhood home on the banks of the Siuslaw River, to attend her mother's funeral. A planned temporary stay turns into a permanent decision to start a new chapter of her life by remodeling her parent's home into an Inn. Her move back to the River results in strained relationships with her daughter and mother-in-law, but also results in a promising relationship with building contractor Clark Richards. Anna works to create a place of healing, not only for future guests, but for herself and her family as well.

I greatly enjoyed this gently flowing story, and plan to read future additions to the series. Melody Carlson has created compelling characters who have real hurts and struggles and yet who discover the power to overcome and forgive past wrongs. Carlson expertly wove in some of the history of the Native American people, and provided powerful insight into how their past experiences so traumatically impacted them. I did find some of Anna's jumps from present time to past remembrances to be a bit abrupt, taking away from the flow of the story. However, Carlson has succeeded in weaving a rich tale that will surely appeal to readers of contemporary dramas. A solid recommendation, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.