As Anna Larson has to do in Melody Carlson’s book River’s Song, sometimes we all have to start new in old and familiar places. In the beginning of this novel, Anna returns to her childhood home by the river for her mother’s funeral, unhappy and unsatisfied with her life. Living with her cruel mother-in-law and her apathetic, spoiled daughter, Anna feels like a doormat. She is constantly looked down upon by her mother-in-law, Eunice, for being of Native American descent. Returning to the river changes everything.
Anna learns to appreciate her heritage and her old home thanks to her return. She meets an unexpected friend, Hazel, who asks to study Anna’s Native American artifacts that belonged to Anna’s grandmother. Hazel gives Anna the idea to turn her property into an inn. Anna begins construction on her property and meets Hazel’s son, Clark, who works as Anna’s contractor. As the building begins, so begins her healing while finding new meaning to her life. Anna comes to the realization that the river is where she belongs. She learns to face her mother-in-law, and she mends the almost nonexistent relationship with her daughter, Lauren. She finds love and finds what it means to be truly happy. Even when she has almost no money and no one to rely on, she finds comfort in God. Genesis 50:21 says, “So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” This novel shows a great example of this; when you rely on the Lord, He will provide for you in His own timing.
River’s Song is easy to read with drama, love, and heartache all in one. Anna relies on God to take care of her when she has nowhere else to turn. The plot is a little slow at times, but overall this book encompasses a moving story. – Hannah Guske, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Following her mother’s funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents’ belongings, as well as her own turbulent life.
For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage, despite the disdain of her vicious mother-in-law. By transforming her old family home on the banks of the Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing—a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings.