After River

After River

A Novel

Book - 2008
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A devastating tale of love, redemption and family secrets, set in the 1960s in British Columbia's Cascade mountains. Everything changed for 15-year-old Natalie Ward the summer that River came to work on her family's dairy farm. At fifteen, Natalie Ward believes her life is perfect. Growing up on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia less than two miles from the American border, she knows little of the outside world. But she knows family. A family so close and loving that they are the envy of the nearby town of Atwood. Natalie cherishes her position as the only daughter of the beautiful Nettie Ward -- pride of the Catholic Ladies Auxiliary -- and the town's milkman, Gus Ward. She adores her three brothers, especially the eldest, Boyer, whom she idolizes with a childlike worship. Like her mother, Natalie believes their lives are blessed. Everything changes one hot July afternoon in 1966 when a long-haired stranger walks up the winding dirt road to their door. The arrival of this soft-spoken Vietnam War resistor sets catastrophic events in motion that will leave relationships shattered and Natalie separated in unimaginable ways from the family she loves. Thirty-five years later, Natalie receives a late-night phone call from her now-estranged brother Boyer. Their mother is dying. Torn between her love for her mother and her fear of the past, Natalie returns to the town she has spent her adult live avoiding. But before Natalie can at last come to terms with all that has happened, she must confront the secrets and horrors she has long tried to forget.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, 2008
Description: 342 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781554681662
Branch Call Number: Miln


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May 27, 2016

I found this book captivating from the first page. Knowing dairy farmers and living in BC made it especially relevant for me. A great read for anyone growing up in the sixties.

Apr 20, 2016

good look at family dynamics and the damaging aspects of misunderstandings and the pain caused by silences. there was foreshadowing of certain plot lines but enough unexpected twists to keep it interesting.

ontherideau Feb 19, 2015

A good choice for those who enjoyed Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 27, 2015

Set in a farming community in the Kootenays during the Vietnam era, a family takes in a draft dodger as a hired hand. With his appearance, serious cracks in the town's veneer are exposed, and family relationships are destroyed.

Jul 07, 2014

This was not my usual interest & I found it compelling, quickly finished. Being of an age to understand generational outlooks, what's done or not done; what's lived with as the choice made at an early age, only to be disappointed & unfulfilled, yet 'sticking with it' because one cannot leave the arrangement. I felt the story demonstrated how religion can destroy or build a life. Very believable situation for a young girl with little knowledge of the world, somewhat isolated life. I didn't expect several of the outcomes.

Jul 05, 2014

This book is especially interesting to someone who was a young person during the Vietnam war. A very good read. Relevant to the times and the coming of age of a young girl.

Jan 27, 2013

Captivating story - couldn't wait to get back to it but, at the same time, I didn't want it to end. I have already recommended it to several people.

Demarcation Apr 05, 2012

I could not put this book down! It is great if you like stories about families, relationships and the pain and sorrow of life

May 11, 2011

Beautifully written. Her vivid descriptions made me feel as though I was actually there.Milner has won many awards for this book and I couldn't wait to read her next book "The Promise of Rain". A totally different subject and it didn't disappoint.

Devashar Mar 21, 2010

Such a sad story of grief, regret, and most of all love. What Natalie Ward learns of these three emotions will be imprinted in the minds of readers for a long time.

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Apr 19, 2009

awake88 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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