The River Widowby Published 01 Dec 2018
|The River Widow.pdf|
|Publisher||Lake Union Publishing|
From the bestselling author of The Whiskey Sea comes a stirring novel of a young woman’s survival and liberation during the Great Depression.
In 1937, with flood waters approaching, Adah Branch accidentally kills her abusive husband, Lester, and surrenders his body to the raging river, only to be swept away herself.
So begins her story of survival, return to civilization, defense against accusations of murder, and the fight to save herself and her stepdaughter, Daisy, from the clutches of her husband’s notoriously cruel family, who have their sights set on revenge for Lester’s death. Essentially trapped, Adah must plan an escape.
But when she develops feelings for the one person essential to her plan’s success, she faces a painful choice: Will she choose to risk everything saving Daisy or take the new life offered by a loving man?
"The River Widow" Reviews
River Widow and so much more
Normally my pick of the Kindle First books would be the thriller or the suspense choice, but being I had read Ann Howard Creel before -I went with the historical fiction choice. The book I had read before was While You Were Mine, and I enjoyed it immensely.
This book is set in time during the Great Depression- the main character Adah had a very hard life from her early teens, but yet she just persevered and made the best life she could. She met her husband while reading Tarot cards, it's rather ironic that she didn't see him for what he was - a wife beater. In the midst of a flood, he beats her-she strikes back and he dies. She gets rid of the body, nearly losing her own life.
Adah's in-laws are evil people, she has no choice but to live with them and try to find some kind of life for herself and her step-daughter. I won't inject spoilers, I do think this book is an accurate portrayal of the times. It isn't a feel good book, but it is a good read.
GAb Adah found herself orphaned at 13 years of age by the 1918/1919 flu epidemic. Her only living relative couldn't or wouldn't take her in, but turned her over to Father Sparrow at Saint Mark's Church in the Bowery in New York City. Adah spent a year studying under Father Sparrow and developed a love for books before Father Sparrow passed away, and fairly soon thereafter she gave up on the foster system and lived among thousands of other young rootless children who worked and slept and wandered the streets of NYC. She learned how to jump trains from a couple of brothers, and found herself enamored of the green verdant lands and waters of Kentucky. In Louisville she settled among some carnival folk and her friend Jessamine encouraged Adah to finished her high school education, and taught her to read tarot cards as a means to an itinerant income before she, too, dies.
Adah marries into the clannish and egomaniacal Branch family when she takes on handsome widower Lester Branch and his baby daughter Dolly. Three and a half abusive years later, the 1937 flood of the Ohio River washes through Kentucky. Adah and Lester have dropped daughter Dolly off at his parent's farm and returned to their riverside farm to save what they can before flood waters take the house and barn. The second punch to the face that day was one too many - for the first time Adah grabs something - anything - a handy shovel - to protect herself and accidentally kills Lester. Adah knows that Dolly would be parentless at four years old if she admits to the murder of her husband, even with self-defense as a defense. In an attempt to drag Lester into the flooding river as a means of covering her crime, she too is sucked into the stream, and Adah gave herself up to what she considered to be just punishment. But the will to live was stronger than her guilt. That will, and some astonishingly good luck, saw her drag herself from the flood and atop a barn where she was eventually rescued and returned to the family Branch.
She might have been better off had she drowned and was carried down the Ohio alongside her dead husband. It turns out Lester was the best of the Branches....
Amazon First Reads
Pub date Dec 1, 2018
Lake Union Publishing
Got this one as a November kindle “first read” and could not put it down. So glad I stayed up late to finish it!
I received this book from Book Sparks for honest review.
This book will keep you up reading long past your bedtime! It has a gripping plot and page-turning suspense…but that's about all. And it's such a shame! The characters are so one-dimensional that it actually becomes a drag on the book. The bad people are so bad it's almost not believable, and the good people are so good, they don't feel authentic.
The story opens in 1937 on a farm in Paducah, Kentucky as what is now known as the Great Flood submerges the land. Lester Branch, who has a habit of viciously beating his wife, Adah, is at it again—even as the water from the Ohio River is rising and threatening everything they own. Adah does something she has never done before: She fights back. And Lester is dead. She pushes his body into the rising river and in so doing she is also washed away. This is not a spoiler. This all happens on the first few pages and is the beginning of Adah's tale of survival in a family that despises her and hopes to utterly destroy her. Adah's only beam of hope and love is in little Daisy, Lester's four-year-old daughter born to his first wife. Daisy thinks of Adah as her mama, and Adah is laser-focused on saving Daisy from her hateful, vindictive and physically-abusive family. And then true love enters Adah's life, changing everything.
Author Ann Howard Creel has written a tale that is indeed spellbinding, which is why I have given it four stars instead of three stars, but also it is such a disappointment. Almost every chapter has several paragraphs or even pages that do nothing but meaninglessly stretch out the story and add nothing to the plot or characters' development.
The ending is bittersweet; that is, it is not altogether happy. That said, the way is clear to a sequel; in fact, it is so clear that I would be shocked if there isn't one!
I highly recommend everybody read this.
“The River Widow” by Ann Howard Creel is about a woman during the depression era living with an abusive husband and his very young daughter. A flood of biblical proportions changes the direction of Adah’s life drastically as her life becomes a living nightmare when she desperately tries to save her life and that Of her step daughter’s. Also, this book illustrates what abuse can look like and how far women have come as far as legal rights and protections.