“River’s Call” by Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson has become synonymous with authentic Christian fiction.

In her most recent book, River’s Call, she proves why. Book two in her Inn at Shining Water series, River’s Call explores the complex family relationships of mother-in-law, daughter, and granddaughter. Carlson’s writing experience, dating since 1995, is immense, and readily visible in her style. Reading through River’s Call, it is transparent that Carlson has an ease and skill that rivals the best in the Christian fiction genre.

Following Lauren, Anna’s daughter, the reader is transported back to the 1960’s to a pregnant and emotionally damaged girl. Due to her age and the associated immaturity, this challenge makes the selfish Lauren only more distraught and confused. It is at this point that Grandma Eunice enters the scene, a master manipulator from a different generation. Relationships are strained and tested between Eunice, Anna, and Lauren. Will Lauren ever grow up? Can mother and daughter reconcile (in both daughter cases)? Only by reading the story of love and strife is one able to see this family face their struggles, especially so as Lauren deals with herself, in her all-to-fast teenager’s life. But are the risks of different generations comparable? Could a new risk put the family in danger?

Carlson’s voice carries the reader through the next in an elegant manner, guiding the audience to not just keep attention to the moments at hand, but also feel the love and pain each character feels. Anna’s struggles become the reader’s struggles. This type of excellence is not easily found in fiction, especially Christian fiction, and is welcomed wholeheartedly.

If a negative of this book were to be found, I may be the one to find it. Not out of critical reasoning, but simply because I am a man. The downside of this book? It won’t be something men will enjoy. But perhaps that’s okay, because after all, should men really understand how a woman thinks and what a woman wants? I suspect that is a mystery that G-d intends to keep hidden for some time to come…

You can find this book in the SG Store today…Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.