December 16, 2014
No River Too Wide by Emilie Richards
Jan Stoddard has finally had enough. Having been abused by her husband for the length of their entire marriage, now that she has a chance to escape she's going to. She's not sure if he's just messing with her by not coming home, but it's the opportunity she needs to flee the state. But in the midst of her flight she accidentally burns the house down and knows that she must get word to her daughter that she's fine and got out alive. But her daughter isn't willing to lose her mother a second time and convinces her to settle down in Asheville nearby so they can finally be together without fear of her father. But there's a chance he's out there looking, and there's only a few they can really trust.
First off, Jan is an excellent character. She really embodies what an abused woman faces and the thought processes that they have. But she was still strong and resilient, which proves that anyone can recover from abuse if they get the right kind of help. Her daughter I didn't like quite as well but that's probably because she waffled from one extreme emotion to another. Which is perfectly natural, it just didn't endear her to me. They were the main characters but they were supported by a cast of other characters that were well rounded and added to the story instead of just merely being there as fillers. Taylor especially helped the story flow and it was kind of her story as well since she interacted with everyone and had her own chapters. My only complaint about the characters would be the need for the author to have everyone "paired up" by the end of the story. Sometimes that just feels unnecessary and not life-like.
This story is about abuse. And recovery from abuse. And reactions to abuse. And it is all pretty accurate. Granted everyone experiences something a little different, but a lot of the premises are the same. The honeymoon stage, the whittling away of self, the people believe it should be easy to leave an abuser. Dead on. So the author did their research or has experienced it themselves, they just didn't make up situations. And I think it's great that it came in this type of a book format as it may reach some people who don't know as much about domestic violence. I do think that the ending happened a little too easy and wasn't as realistic as the rest of the book. But this is a feel good book, so I can't say it was out of character for the book.
This was a hard one to put down. I definitely lost some sleep while reading it. And now, having read it, I'm interested in going back and reading others by the author.
No River Too Wide
**This book was received through the Amazon Vine Program**