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“Not about witches! I'm not a fan of witch stories so I almost skipped this but the name comes from an area superstition and superstitious people and is useful as an analogy. It relates well but I think it's important to note that story is not about witches at all. And even though regrets exist as...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I enjoyed this book for the most part, but it did have so strange elements to it as well. The writing style was enjoyable and I really liked the Southern fiction elements of the book. While I never got bored with it, I just found some parts of the story hard to follow. There is nothing really along the "witch" area; just some old Seminole ramblings and some ghost like qualities. It's hard to describe. Over all, an enjoyable book though if you like stories about unique communities in the south where everyone knows everyone and has their little quirks.”Mildred wrote this review Tuesday, August 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After going through a tragic accident that ended with the miscarriage of her child and injured her in a way that she will not be able to go back to work as a ballerina, Roslyn Byrne rents a house on Manny’s Island, Georgia for the summer. There she comes to know some of the locals and becomes involved in their lives and the dramas that surround them all the while trying to give her dead child a name and to find out what she will do with the rest of her life.
I really wanted to love and adore this novel. I mean it takes place in the South with characters that are as unique and complex as people you might meet in real life. It was just the way the story was written, was presented that bothered me. Then the ending just didn’t set well with me and left me wondering why I took the time to find out how it all came out. This isn’t an easy read at all and even though it is not a long story it was something I had a hard time finishing.
BelleBooks|April 6, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-61194-123-4
Broken in body and spirit, thirty-year-old, Roslyn Byrne secludes herself in the mystical wilderness of Manny’s Island Georgia. Can she find herself in the sweetness of old songs, old ways, and the gentle magic of the river people?
Kimberly Brock is a native Southerner, a former actor and special needs educator. Her work has appeared in anthologies and magazines. She lives with her husband and three children north of Atlanta, Georgia. The River Witch is her first novel. Visit her at kimberlybrockbooks.com
Roslyn secludes herself in the wilds of a Georgia island surrounded by beauty and a beautiful river. After an accident that ended her dream of becoming a ballerina and losing a baby, she spends two months is this mystical and strange place with which she learns to come to terms with the river people and her life.
I was mesmerized by this story from beginning to end and read it in one sitting. It was like paddling my own canoe down the lazy river partaking in the lives of the characters who were so clearly defined that I felt I knew each on intimately. The Trezevant family was an odd bunch all searching for something in this life while listening with their hearts to the stories of the past. This novel evoked a great deal of emotion for me.
Little ten-year-old, Damascus was an absolute charmer who lost her mother to cancer at very young age and was left with her angry, non-responsive, unemotional father who rarely spoke to her except to say things like: “Do we got milk?” or “Can I run that laundry?” She received no affection from him whatsoever, that she got from visiting the elderly at the local nursing home by allowing the old people to touch her, pat her on the head, and hold onto her hands. She said “they just love it….it’s kind of gross.” I think Damascus loved it as much as they did for it was really the only form of affection she herself got and that made me terribly sad. However, Damascus introduces, Roslyn to alligators and hoodoo magic in this gothic setting.
I was immensely disappointed when her father, Urey didn’t have the decency to show up at the family dinner Damascus had worked so hard to prepare. And I thought to myself, “How DARE he show up at the end and waltz in after it was over and Damascus and JB were out canoeing on river.” I loved that Roslyn slapped the pie plate off the table and told him he didn’t deserve to eat even that one chunk of crust in the bottom of the pan. I could picture myself standing beside Roslyn waiting for her to finish berating him just so I could lite into him myself!
Roslyn, Aunt Ivy, and her cousin, JB were influences in her life and provided her with most of the things she needed. Aunt Ivy homeschooled Damascus, JB spent a lot of time with her and Roslyn presented as a friend, but also entertainment for Damascus in trying to figure out exactly who this woman was that rented their summer cottage. But no one can take the place of real mother and father.
The ending was totally, totally unexpected regarding the letter and seeds that Damascus’s mother left behind for her before she died. What letter and seeds you ask? You’ll have to read the story to find out.
Kimberly Brock’s debut novel The River Witch is a beautifully written story of enchantment and intrigue and loss and healing complete with rich and vibrant imagery. It was like listening to the voices carry across the water in the dark of night. I felt immensely close to each of the characters and like them all for various reasons. Each brought an important part to the story and without their input the story wouldn’t be what it was. In my opinion both Roslyn and Damascus’s stories were equally heartbreaking.
This is one book I’ll be highly recommending and kudos to you Ms. Brock for a well-written novel! Congratulations and well done! This is one story that will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page. I can’t wait for a second book.
“Not about witches! I'm not a fan of witch stories so I almost skipped this but the name comes from an area superstition and superstitious people and is useful as an analogy. It relates well but I think it's important to note that story is not about witches at all. And even though regrets exist as ghosts, there is nothing supernatural here.
Amazing character development and the setting was spot-on. Thank you, author, for not turning your good story into a bodice-ripping romance. Even though it was written from the perspective of a woman who faced uniquely female challenges and who, at some level sought romance, the story doesn't spend too much time there.
The story had a few challenges for me but I was able to live with them and enjoy the book. I thought it a little unrealistic that Roslyn (the main character) could afford the time and expense of her summer escape but her finances aren't discussed much so I tried to brush it off.
This book contains some superb writing in places. There are serious diamonds hidden here and there. Take this beauty: "People were already taking a gander at me and Mama, citifed prodigals most likely carrying in disease and the ways of the world on the soles of our shoes." Awesome. You read that in your head with a southern accent, didn't you? That's a southern-lit kind of sentence and I love it.
Overall, this was an easy book to stay interested in and there were times when I just couldn't put it down. I hope author Kimberly Brock writes more non-romance novels. I'm betting she has more diamonds to share.”
“The River Witch--Thoroughly Enjoyable!
The River Witch is a love story. Not a love story in the conventional sense; but, it’s a story about the love of lost things, new things, things not known, and things learned. It’s a love story of life, living and, of a young girl and her family on an island off the coast of Georgia. It’s the story of a learned renewal of spirit when a dancer loses everything she has known and counted on in life. It’s a story you will want to read. . . .
Roslyn Byrne, after an accident, secludes herself on an island off the coast of Georgia to heal from not only her physical wounds, but her emotional ones as well. She will never dance again. She will never star in a famous dance company again. She will never be able to count on the one thing she knows best--ballet. Or will she?
Damascus is a ten-year-old who has lived more than a young life should have at her age. She runs wild most of the time on the island. Her father doesn’t know what to do with her since the loss of his wife; and he too, is trying to figure out for himself the whys and reasons that come with a deep, despairing grief. That leaves little time to be there for a young girl who reminds him so much of the thing he is grieving most.
The River Witch is a novel flavored with bits of voodoo, alligators that tell tales, and magical summer days that teach what it means to be alive and how to live and love again. Why not join them in their quest . . . ?
“A haunting novel filled with haunted characters, echoing to the lonesome cry of alligators and the longing of old songs, Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch is a slow beautiful read, perfect for a hot summers’ day.
Roslyn Byrne has lost a child and her career as a dancer. Her self-image lies broken and she runs away to hide on Georgia’s Mannys Island. Meanwhile Damascus has lost her mother and looks to her mostly absent father to give meaning to her life.
The music of the river flows beautifully through this novel, carrying ghosts and memories, secrets and dreams, and the promise of healing. The growth and pruning of vines is mirrored in reshaped dreams and hopes. The power and healing of dependence brings the promise of new life. And memories flower into something more than the past, bringing power to the future.
This story rocks the reader gently in a web of relationships. Beautifully formed, gorgeously told, haunting, revealing and empowering, it rolls towards a fine conclusion, lifting songs up to heaven and rooting its feet in the solid reality of earth. A lovely novel on so many different levels…
Disclosure: I received a free e-galley from the author and my only regret is it took me so long to get around to reading it.”
“With her grannies Sacred Heart songs, Roslyn Byrnes heads to Manny’s Island, Georgia for a reprieve from the world around her. Having recently suffered from a career ending car accident and a miscarriage, she just needs some time to herself. Once getting to the house, that’s the last thing she gets.
The home she rents is owned by the Trezevants family. Who bring their family problem/issues to her doorstep where she welcomes them in. With them, they bring a little family drama, dark history, hoodoo, and a ten year old little girl named Damascus who is looking for magic and a way to connect with her mother by growing pumpkins in Roslyn’s backyard.
The River Witch, is magical on so many levels. Kimberly Brock’s writing is simply beautiful; it felt almost lyrical as I read. The story itself is filled with a number of layers all dealing with what each character has lost and finding a way to heal.
I fell in love with Damascus. I hurt for her, I cheered for her and I cried for her. For me she really tied everything together. It was easy to see a little girl needing some way to connect with her mother—that desire, but what she really needed was to be filled by those around her. We do that as adults, I think. We get lost in our own grief and sadness. We forget there is life and beauty around us, we need to carry on with the love of those we’ve lost. By moving on, living and loving, we honor them. Because when we allow grief to steal our light, everyone loses—everyone is touched by the darkness.
I highly recommend The River Witch. You won’t want to put it down until you get to the end—and the end will have you reeling!”