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The River, by Peter Heller

48/30 | Started 11.08.22 • Finished 11.21.22 | 4 stars

Having previously read Peter Heller, I figured I would enjoy this right off the bat. It did not disappoint.

There’s always relief in committing to a decision, even when there’s no choice.

This thriller is set in northern Canada, where we find two friends embarking on a trip along the Maskwa River. The two outdoorsmen, Wynn and Jack, made fast friends during freshman orientation and are skipping out on a semester to make this dream of a journey. Things quickly turn south when they realize a wild fire is fast approaching. There's also the introduction of a suspicious verbal argument heard on shore, and two inebriated men in another boat. I can't share more than that without giving the story away.

The night was pitch, but Wynn could feel that the sky was moving overhead, scraping the treetops.

I really loved the story-telling in this novel, from the insights into Wynn and Jack's past, to the moment-by-moment on the river. Everything that Wynn and Jack do is completely believable, as is everything that happens to them. It doesn't seem far fetched at all, unlike some other novels I've read recently. There is some darkness about, but it didn't bother me. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a slow burn of a thriller.

He heard a loon call, piercing and forlorn, and it poured into his spirit like cool water.

Lulu and the Dog from the Sea, by Hilary McKay

47/30 | Started 11.03.22 • Finished 11.16.22

Another story Carolyn really enjoyed. She was a big fan of the illustrations and liked the dog from the sea and the kite and the cottage owner (I think because I gave her a voice). Cute story.

Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen

Started 09.21.22 • Finished 10.13.22

"My favorite quote was probably 'We are through at last!' because the Todd family had just completed their journey to Oregon. At first I thought I'd like it because the family is moving and it would be about the move.

The main character is named Mary Ellen, and she just wants to either go home or finish the journey right away. She's kind, but she's very rough, and often comes back to the wagon after playing with grass-stained clothes. If she's going to get to Oregon with a snap of a finger, it'd have to be at the speed of light, so it's kind of impossible, and her family has their minds set on getting there. They do get to Oregon, but it takes about six to eight months, maybe longer. She just plays to pass the time.

I'd give this book a 5 out of 5 because of the way it was written, and because I think all of the characters mentioned had a good part in the story."

Neph, age 11

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