Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Boy Faces His Demons

When he's five years old, Gabriel Clarke witnesses his father swept away by the river while trying to rescue a kayaker who is about to go over the falls. After that shocking incident, he fears water, particularly the river. Gabriel feels abandoned by his father and grows up fighting the demons that keep him solitary and afraid. He reaches the age of 20 still trying to throw off the fears of his early childhood. Then comes his redemption.

The River is a metaphor for life. It flows on offering challenges and pain, but also great beauty and happiness. It is in meeting the challenges that Gabriel becomes strong enough to finally escape the past and live fully in the present.

I enjoyed this book. The story of a young boy fighting his demons and winning is poignant. All of us have been there in one way or another. The scenes of the river are inspiring. For me, they were the best part of the book.

The book did have some problems. The writing is simple to the point of being clumsy in the choice of words and sentence structure. The story is almost too goody goody. Gabriel has pain, but he also receives a great deal of help from others. In fact, although he fights his demons, he needs outside help to overcome them. Perhaps this is the author's metaphor for God working through our lives.

I recommend this book, it's an easy read and the story is compelling.

I received this book to review from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley.