Author: Michael Neale
Review: I felt two things after reading The River; first I really wanted to go whitewater rafting, and two, this was a nice story. Marketed under the banner of religious/inspirational literature it doesn’t really have that feel; at least not overtly. Instead it is the story of a young man who comes to terms with his father’s death and his own place in the world as he becomes a man himself.
What really worked in this book was the author’s use of the river as a main character. Though he did lean to the supernatural on the rare occasion, for the most part his description of the river as a living, breathing entity was superb. You really get a sense of place and honesty through his words.
The only downside of the book was the device used to get us into the story; an old man begins talking to a fellow passenger stuck in the airport one stormy night. I guess you could say he was trying to demonstrate that we get so caught up in our rushed little worlds that we miss the beauty all around us with this introduction, but I think the story was great on its own and did not need this.
A solid nice book that will make you think about your own relationships, and just maybe inspire you to take a exciting whitewater vacation too.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Quick Review: 3 stars out of 5
Why I Read It: I am both a father and a son; it looked good.
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review
Synopsis: "The River is a story that will transform how you see yourself and the world." --Andy Andrews, "New York Times" best-selling author of "The Noticer," "The Traveler's Gift," and "How Do You Kill 11 Million People?"
"You were made for The River . . ."
Gabriel Clarke is mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. The rushing waters beckon him to experience freedom and adventure.
But something holds him back--the memory of the terrible event he witnessed on The River when he was just five years old--something no child should ever see.
Chains of fear and resentment imprison Gabriel, keeping him from discovering the treasures of The River. He remains trapped, afraid to take hold of the life awaiting him.
When he returns to The River after years away, his heart knows he is finally home. His destiny is within reach. Claiming that destiny will be the hardest--and bravest--thing he has ever done.
Author Biography: Gifted writer, performer, and masterful storyteller are all phrases used to describe Michael Neale.
With the highly anticipated September 2012 release of his first novel The River, as well as a second book, Your Great Name, which releases in October 2012, Michael is finding more and more ways to share his gift of storytelling as an author.
As a Dove Award-Winning songwriter, his songs have been recorded by artists such as Michael W. Smith (“Rise Above”), Natalie Grant (“Your Great Name,” Worship Song of the Year in 2012), Rebecca St. James (“In A Moment”), Todd Agnew (“I Need No Other”), and Phillips, Craig and Dean (“Saved the Day”), to name a few.
Michael divides his time among leading worship in churches, songwriting, and being a featured leader and teacher at conferences around the country. In between his travels, Michael serves on the team of Worship Leaders at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, where he lives with his wife Leah, and their three children Micah, Maisie, and Wyatt.