An emotional rollercoaster wonderfully written and beautifully crafted.
Blurb: “When the body of their best friend, Derrick Zachariah, is found in the bushes along the January River, everything comes crashing down for Ethan and William McCoy, Jason Hawk, and Derrick’s sister Sarah in their idyllic small town in the southwest of Nebraska. Derrick’s sudden death completely changes their lives. Living in the tame and peaceful Greenfield with a secret becomes very hard, and almost unbearable for some of them. Things get worse for Ethan and his brother William after someone poisons Ethan’s golden retriever, the dog Ethan saved from near death when he found him on the banks of January River the previous winter.
A few years later, when he has reached adulthood, William leaves Greenfield in search for a better, different life. It doesn’t take too long before Ethan follows the footsteps of his older brother and also leaves his hometown. He goes to New York City to visit Will, with hope to find solace, forgiveness and liberation from the ghosts of his boyhood. Instead, Ethan meets, falls in love and marries Susan Dupie, a successful editor of New York’s prestigious magazine, A Way of Life. Susan also falls in love, not only with him but with his writing too, and helps him become a best-selling author.
But it is never quite that easy and Ethan’s idyllic life is shattered again by Susan’s illness. Only after Susan succumbs to leukemia does Ethan muster enough courage to return to Greenfield and after more than twenty years reveals the truth about Derrick’s death to his sister Sarah.
Some things are better left untold, but the dark secret in Ethan’s heart lying buried in the silent waters of the January River is not meant to remain a secret forever.”
Greenfield, a small American town, where diversity in terms of religion, nationality and personal interests were accepted and tolerated, seems to be the paradise on earth. Surrounded by great forests, a beautiful river, populated with wonderful people, isolated from all the happenings in the rest of the USA, this place is nothing far from the ideal place to live in.
Ethan, the main character, had a wonderful and peaceful life in Greenfield, playing with his friends and his brother Will. Unfortunately, when only twelve years old, his life takes an unpredictable turn due to the death of Ethan’s good friend. Greenfield suddenly doesn’t look the same anymore. “In a voice as calm as the descending night, he spoke words as icy as the water of the January River in which Derrick, his belly up, floated at that moment. “Why did you let that happen? Why didn’t you help me?” His voice, distant and cold, echoed in Ethan’s head as he shook it from side to side, his eyes closed.” Ethan, his brother, and the other friends were all affected by the sad event and this will have a huge impact on their life. Ethan’s following his brother’s steps and leaves for New York. He got a job, got married, became a successful writer. After everything he’d been through, Ethan would have deserved to have the happily after.
Even though at times things seemed to take a positive turn, life gave one strike after another. “Big decisions are often made suddenly. The biggest deals are made in a fraction of a second. It’s up to our wisdom, wits and shrewdness whether they will be worth the trouble or boomerang and hit us in the head.”
I liked the fact how the whole story was centered around the January river, the river that passed through Greenfield. All the great and bad things happened there. There’s not a big coincidence why also the dogs that Ethan had were named after the river. Once by choice and the other time, by coincidence.
This is a heartbreaking story, full of true love between brothers, parents and sons, friendship, and self-searching. The author managed again to create a real emotional rollercoaster wonderfully written and beautifully crafted as he did with the other books A world without color and Look for Me Under the Rainbow.
My rating: 5/5.
Find it on Goodreads
Follow the author on Amazon
Message to you:
In order to be a good writer, one has to read a lot. And I do and I love it....and I chose to share my readings with you. Feel free to share with me any of the books you have read or wrote, if I find them interesting I will add them to my list. I'll post my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and all my social accounts.