Go as a River is an immensely beautiful story set against the backdrop of the 1940s Colorado countryside. Although it is still early in the year, I believe this book will be among my top favorites for all of 2023. Shelley Read is a master at capturing emotion and immersing the reader in the setting and storyline.
The book begins with a chance encounter of a naïve young Victoria who is headed into her small town of Iola, Colorado. At a street corner, a young outsider, Wilson Moon, stops to ask her for directions and the chemistry between the two is immediate. She has that light-switch moment when you know your world has changed forever, and you can never go back to how your life was before. Forced to wrestle with their differences in race, Wilson and Victoria must make difficult choices in order to keep their relationship going. At first, I believed this book would be a love story, but it is so much more.
As a coming-of-age novel, Go as a River progresses through Victoria’s life and the difficult choices she must make to survive after she faces countless tragedies. How she must make the hard choice to leave the only home she has ever known and survive in the harsh Colorado wilderness. How she must make a difficult choice when the government comes to try and buy her family’s land. This is a story of perseverance and strength.
For fans of Where the Crawdad’s Sing or The Great Alone, this book exemplifies female power, the bonds of family and friendships, and how to find your own peace and sense of home. It absolutely floors me that this is Read’s debut novel. The characters are so fully developed you feel like you have known them your whole life. Instantly relatable and immersive, this is a must read!
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