Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: The Singing River by R. K. Ryals

Sometimes life gives us the people that help us with the situations it hands us. We don't always know it when we meet them, but sometimes we feel the connection that brings us together. That is what "The Singing River" is about, connections and how we shape each others lives.

Responsibility is a Bitch...The South is still stuck on old money, blue blood, and the wrong side of the tracks. The wealth groups and classes don't mix, it's always been that way, especially for the Braydens. With their father murdered a year ago, River went off to Harvard and Roman lives with their stepmother Marissa. Roman's life is in shambles. He's flunking school, on drugs, and gotten a girl pregnant. It's time that River confronts not only his demons, but the ones haunting his brother. Neither can forget the way their father died.

A chance meeting... Haven and her mother struggle day to day. The only thing keeping them fed and with a roof over their heads is Haven's minimum wage job at the local Dairy Bar. Things are tough, her dad took off when she was 10 and left her to help pick up the pieces with her mother. While at work she meets River and Ramon. The two brothers are fighting and the police are called. Somehow a connection is made and River can't get the blond haired girl with the amazing green eyes out of his head.

A piece of luck....Haven's mother goes for a job interview and gets a job that will turn things around. She also meets Uncle Marley Brayden who is writing a book about the Death Song a legend of an entire tribe marching to their death in the river. It is agreed with Haven's mother and Uncle Marley Brayden that Haven will go along on the expedition to the river.

A coincidence that will change lives....River has had enough of Roman's way and is going to straighten him up one way or another. Their going with Uncle Marley to the river, where there are no pills and no distractions, for Roman that is. When the big black truck pulls up Haven sees River is the driver. There's excitement and trepidation. The pull is magnetic. Who is this girl? Does he just need an escape? Will Roman pull it together? Is the song real or legend?

I stepped toward her. “You have a way of making people relate to you.”

She snorted. “I doubt that.”

I was in front of her now, my face peering down into hers. “Really, you do. A few hours of knowing you feels like days.”
“Sounds tiresome,” she teased.

“It’s a gift,” I countered.
There were sudden lines in her forehead, a troubled look in her eye. “Some might call it a curse,” she murmured. “By the end of this trip, you’ll want me gone.”

It was my turn to frown, my gaze studying her face. She had green eyes so dark they could be mistaken for brown and lashes so long they almost touched her brows. True, she was more willowy than curvy, but she was beautiful in an understated, elegant kind of way. The faint freckles on the bridge of her nose drove me crazy.
“Why do you think that?” I asked.

There was something stark and open about her eyes when she answered, “Because I am better at being abandoned than I am at keeping people.”

This book will pull at you emotionally. I felt a connection to all the characters. You will feel the joy of young love fighting against the odds. The sadness of loss of life and handling of grief. The fear of the unknown and warring emotions of things beyond your control.
The match between Haven and River is one of need, understanding, and desire. Haven is the compliment the whole Brayden family needs and the Brayden family is the bond that Haven needs to share. She's been alone and in control too long. Her constant need to help makes the connections strong as they are in need of the help she offers.  I await to see if there is a sequel for the ending and to see if Haven and River reunite after college.  Will Roman find his justice and will River escape his responsibilities? Was River actually there to hurt Haven or rescue her from her life of despair?

Add The Singing River To Your TBR List on Goodreads -

About The Author:

R. K. Ryals is a scatterbrained mother of three whose passion is reading whatever she can get her hands on. She makes her home in Mississippi with her husband, three daughters, a Shitzsu named Tinkerbell, and a coffeepot she couldn't live without.


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