Friday, August 26, 2011

Retro Friday Review: The River Between Us by Richard Peck

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie of Angieville and "focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc."

The River Between Us by Richard Peck
Publisher: Puffin
Publication date: 2003
ISBN: 978-0142403105
Source: Library (audiobook)

The River Between UsThe River Between Us By Richard Peck

Howard Hutchings has a lot to learn about his family's history. While visiting his extended family, he hears all about his grandmother Tilly and what happened one year when her family took in two strangers from the South.  Delphine and Calinda are not your typical young ladies near the beginning of the Civil War.  But bringing them into the Pruitt family changes all their lives forever.

Things I Liked:
I absolutely adored Tilly's story!  The beginning and end are told from Howard's viewpoint and his reaction to the story, but in between is where the good stuff is.  I listened to this while we were moving from UT to AZ, and it kept my attention from the first word.  The setting is beautifully created and you feel exactly like you are there in that small town, seeing these two larger-than-life ladies.  Not only is it fabulously told with Peck's gorgeous writing style, but the story tugs at your heart and I found myself getting teary a few times.  A poignant and classic historical fiction.

Things I Didn't Like:
I was mildly annoyed that I had to start out with Howard, since he played no true part in the story.  His stuff at the end made more sense, but I didn't particularly care about him or his reactions, because I had very little introduction to him.  It's Tilly's story (and Delphine's, Calinda's and Cass') that I cared about.  Fortunately he was only in the story a very little.  (I put both hardcover and paperback covers here - I thought it strange that they went from a woman to a man, both in Civil War attire.  I guess to appeal to boys more?)

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi

s-factor: none

that I recall

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

Every time I read a well-written historical fiction, I remember how much I love them. Do you have favorites in this genre?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I love the cover with the woman on it. The one with the man on it looks cheap and boring.

    The River Between Us sounds fantastic! I'll have to check it out on audible.

    Also, if you want a fantastic historical fiction absolutely drop your books and read A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, it is SO good!

  2. April, I did read A Northern Light quite a while ago. And I didn't like it nearly as well as everyone else. Still not entirely sure why (though the writing really was fabulous). Hope you get this one and enjoy it!


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