BY THE RIVER – Giveaway and Review

By the River Large Banner

Title: By The River
Jae Carvel
Publication Date:
March 31, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope

With three young children at her side, Sarah Ann arrives in the beautiful upper John Day Valley in 1869, a young widow whose husband had disappeared in an Indian raid on their way west.
In 1870, she marries Thomas Martin and begins her life as a rancher’s wife. She and Thomas are successful, hardworking pioneers who love their land and take seriously the job of rearing and educating their nine children.
On her one trip back to New York to visit her mother, Sarah Ann discovers she has been living a lie. The truth liberates her from the reserved stoic nature she has portrayed toward others during her first forty years. The last quarter of the century becomes a backdrop for a modern woman of subtle influence.
Experiencing a new self-worth, Sarah Ann shares her ideas and wisdom with her family and community while never disclosing her secret.

Life is interesting.  As a mother, and now a grandmother, I look back over my adult life and see it as a series of vignettes.  My memories of things that have happened from my courtship, to our children’s early years and the myriad of stories of family growing pains come back in little spurts.  All these stories seem to be punctuated in time capsules, with date stamps of “in the summer of”, or “the year John turned”.  Rae Carvel’s By the River was written much in this vein, a progressive reflection of a pioneer woman’s memories during the latter 1800’s.Through her eyes, the reader was able to witness the early strains of the suffrage movement in Oregon and the struggles of women as they worked to strained to get basic rights.  We also watched the struggles within the traditional marriage as she earned for more say in finances and in decisions concerning their plans for their children’s futures.  So much of what we take for granted is due to the “battles” our grandmothers and great grandmothers waged a hundred years ago.  By the River did a beautiful job of presenting the story of the life of a pioneer woman, her trials, her victories, and her love of family.  There is much be learned from reading this book about women of the west.

I would give this book a 3.5 star rating.  

jane author photo
Author Bio:
Jae Carvel’s work is inspired by the many stories of her ancestors who all came to Eastern Oregon as pioneers. She is retired from teaching junior high. She and her husband have four children, six grandchildren and one great granddaughter, making them a typically busy family, laughingly known as ‘retired.’ Jae travels, gardens, golfs and writes novels.
Author Links:
This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.


    • Thank you, Elizabeth. I work to find the uniqueness within each novel that I read. I realize that at times even though a work is not exactly my “cup of tea”, does not mean that it is any less well wriiten, or not captivating for other reasons.
      Wouldn’t bookshelves be boring if all the books looked and read alike? Maybe that is why I have such a broad range of enjoyment in genre and Writing styles. Thank you for following.


      • You are correct! Though a book or genre may not interest me, or be my “cup of tea”, the writing and captivity of the story may be stellar. I’ve read many books in a variety of genres, and some of my favorite reads are from genres I least explore. I’m not a fan of thriller, but Steven king can surely captivate readers through characterization. His characters mimic our own imperfections, which captivates us, giving us, the readers something to relate to. Another is the Harry Potter series, not my usual genre, but I loved the series. The books were magnificently written with stunning details, and her characters were so well developed. They had detailed personalities fitting to their parts in the plot, which was also mysterious and unexpected. Those two authors do not write books in my usual choice of genre, but they deserve to be read and appreciated. Thank you for following!

        Liked by 1 person

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