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Go as a River: A Novel

Go as a River: A Novel

The only woman in a family of broken, tortured men, Victoria Nash begins her journey in poverty and loneliness. She would have remained so if not for Wilson Moon, a mysterious drifter whose arrival in town sparks a fire in everyone he meets. But whereas Victoria’s spark is a blooming passion, the rest of the conservative midwestern townspeople feel only smoldering hate. This is a book that lifts your hopes and dreams for this young couple all the way into the clouds, then crashes back to reality with brutal force. It breaks your heart again and again, but begs you to keep going, as a river does, collecting love and loss along the way.

Melissa S.

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Author Shelley Read
Publisher Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date 2023-02-28
Section New Hardcover - Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Melissa S.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9781954118232

Set amid Colorado’s wild beauty, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a resilient young woman whose life is changed forever by one chance encounter. A tragic and uplifting novel of love and loss, family and survival—and hope—for readers of Great Circle, The Four Winds, and Where the Crawdads Sing

“Shelley Read’s lyrical voice is a force of nature…. Completely unforgettable.” —Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry 

“A splendid American Gothic tale of a young woman broken by circumstances who must find a way to forgive before she can love.”—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Good Left Undone 

Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses.

Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains where she struggles to survive in the wilderness with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland—its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations. 

Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home—where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river—gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when a river is dammed.

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