'The River' by Peter Heller

// Book Review //

I finished 'The River' a few weeks ago and needed a bit of time to really sort my thoughts and feelings before writing this review. A book that keeps you thinking after turning the last page can be a good sign that the author wrote a compelling story. Heller’s writing was so immersive that I felt as though I was a passenger in the canoe with the two main characters and instead of paddling with them, all I could do was to will them to safety. The author's descriptive prose felt like poetry at times while also reminding me of why I would never want to go on a wilderness canoe trip without a satellite phone (let's be real... I wouldn't want to go on a wilderness canoe trip for many reasons including bears, the absence of indoor plumbing, sleeping on the ground, foraging for your own food, fires, crazy people, etc.)

Throughout 'The River', Heller expertly intertwines themes of friendship, brotherhood, adventure, trust, loyalty, fear, protection of the innocent, survival, loss, self-defense, mental fortitude, conflict resolution and perseverance at all cost. I enjoyed the author's development of the two main characters as we experience the highs and lows of both their past and their present challenges. Even though I could guess what was around the bend (literally and figuratively) for most of the book, I had high hopes for a different ending. In summary, while I was happy to get out of the canoe when the story ended, this slim book holds a big adventure...

Have you read ‘The River’? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on this book!

Book Details:

Title: The River: A Novel

Author: Peter Heller

Publisher: Knopf

Format: Hardcover Book

ISBN: 978-0525521877