And the lucky winner is.... Joy!
Where the River Ends by Charles Martin
2008 Broadway Books
Quit on 10/2/08
A powerfully emotional and beautifully written story of heartbreaking loss and undying love
He was a fishing guide and struggling artist from a south George trailer park. She was the beautiful only child of South Carolina’s most powerful senator. Yet once Doss Michaels and Abigail Grace Coleman met by accident, they each felt they’d found their true soul mate.
Ten years into their marriage, when Abbie faces a life-threatening illness, Doss battles it with her every step of the way. And when she makes a list of ten things she hopes to accomplish before she loses the fight for good, Doss is there, too, supporting her and making everything possible. Together they steal away in the middle of the night to embark upon a 130-mile trip down the St. Mary’s River—a voyage Doss promised Abbie in the early days of their courtship.
Where the River Ends chronicles their love-filled, tragedy-tinged journey and a bond that transcends all.
Earlier this summer, I snagged an ARC of this book after catching a glimpse of the cover art. (I'm such a sucker for anything with canoes or kayaks.) I've never read anything by Charles Martin, but someone over at Bookreporter.com recommended one of his books (The Dead Don't Dance) to me a few years ago. I never got around to reading that one, but this sounded like something I might like, especially after reading the following blurb in the front of the ARC:
Some years ago Charles Martin heard an unsettling story about a man who served his wife with divorce papers while she was enduring the roughest stage of chemotherapy in an ultimately losing battle with breast cancer. Charles had a hard time understanding the sort of man who could do that: leave his wife when she needed him the most. He began to wonder about the other kind of guy, the one who would stick with his wife—love her and support her—through the very worst of sickness as well as health. In Charles's imagination, this man would be inspired not only by his wedding vows but by a deep, unshakable, unending love for the woman he married.
Every few years, an amazing love story is published that captures the hearts of readers everywhere. The Notebook, The Bridges of Madison County, Love Story. And, now, Where the River Ends.
E. Stacy Creamer
Vice President, Executive Editor, Doubleday
Deputy Editorial Director, Broadway
As I read the first page of the prologue, I got that warm, tingly feeling you get when you think you've stumbled on a great book. The prose reminded me so much of Rick Bragg's style in All over but the Shoutin'; the sort of sentences that are so beautiful, they make your heart sing. Regrettably, the further along I read, the less it felt like Bragg's beautiful writing, and I struggled to continue. The characters felt flat and lifeless and the story failed to draw me in. I read well over a hundred pages, but finally set it aside, thinking it was just bad timing. I tried again a few days later, but still no interest.
I really thought this was going to be a special book. But, as luck would have it, I happened upon a copy of The Dead Don't Dance, so I'll give Mr. Martin another chance. Meanwhile, I'd be more than happy to pass on my copy of Where the River Ends to one of you. Simply leave me a comment before November 1st and I'll throw your name in the hat.