Saturday, September 8, 2012

The River by Michael Neale, c2012

The River is a story about an adventurer who is drawn toward a powerful river in the Colorado Rockies. Author Michael Neale touches on how easy it can be to hang on to your past, and let it control your future. This story is about letting go and allowing The River in all it's beauty to change your life. The River is changing lives—will you let it change yours?
The River by master storyteller and award-winning songwriter Michael Neale. Available now everywhere books are sold. --Thomas Nelson Inc.!prettyPhoto[folio]/1/ The River Experience - Live Event Trailer

Thank you to BookSneeze for sending me a copy of The River by Michael Neale, published by Thomas Nelson, in exchange for this review in my own words.

The River by Michael Neale
Length: 320 Pages
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Company: Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1401688489
ISBN-13 9781401688486
The Author 
Gifted writer, veteran performer, and masterful storyteller are all phrases used to describe Michael Neale. He's currently leading a live, multimedia concert event known as The River Experience, which immerses the audience in breathtaking film imagery and a world-class musical score. Michael resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with his wife, Leah, and their children, Micah, Maisie, and Wyatt. Learn more and stay connected by becoming a part of The River community through Michael Neale's website and mobile app.; Facebook /MichaelNealeOfficial; Twitter @mwneale; The River Book Trailer

First, I like the presentation of The River. The book cover is rustic, with light tan textured pages inside with ragged edges, much like the river. It is ready to navigate through this story of shock, immobility, outrage, life changes, becoming alive ~ forgiving, receiving, and giving back. Again, much like the river.

Back Cover
“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 hm 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.
Includes Reading Group Guide

My Review
From the first chapter, you are riveted to discover the hold and the freedom of The River. Gabriel Clarke's life is overturned in a few moments as it stretches before him. Removed from the life he knows, Gabriel is moved from Colorado to Kansas to live with his mom, whom he doesn't really know. They live in a rental behind the main farmhouse belonging to an older couple who become like grandparents to Gabriel. As he grows up he is shy and retiring, unable to merge in with others his age, as much as he would desire it. A couple years after graduating from school, he takes a trip with a group of guys to a campout by The River. Colorado. It beckons him. He returns home, realizing his heart is tugged. He returns to Colorado to take a summer job working at a whitewater camp. Now his life begins to take shape and he finds he is really home. Discovery. Of who he is, of who he is becoming. Life-changing. Join Gabriel as he leaves his fears behind, growing through the sheltering, harboring arms of The River. Home at last. He is received by those who knew him when he was younger. Love and stepping fully into life is a new direction that is life shaping. Won't you join him?

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