Customer Reviews for

Journey to Riverbend

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(8)

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(4)

2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A great book!

Journey to Riverbend is an amazing book! I loved the plot, the characters, and everything about the book. The plot was perfect, the characters were perfectly described, and the book was just amazing! I love romances, so this book to me was one of the best. Romances are ...
Journey to Riverbend is an amazing book! I loved the plot, the characters, and everything about the book. The plot was perfect, the characters were perfectly described, and the book was just amazing! I love romances, so this book to me was one of the best. Romances are my big thing and this western romance was just great! A perfect read that anyone will enjoy!

posted by diana56 on August 1, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not your usual Christian historical fiction novel!

Henry McLaughlin is an extremely talented writer, weaving a tale so vividly that I feel I could draw a map of the places traveled and could paint each character's portrait. At times it truly seemed that I was using all five senses while reading "Journey to Riverbend." ...
Henry McLaughlin is an extremely talented writer, weaving a tale so vividly that I feel I could draw a map of the places traveled and could paint each character's portrait. At times it truly seemed that I was using all five senses while reading "Journey to Riverbend."

Now, I'm not going to try and write a synopsis here, since anyone can just go and read the editorial review. Instead I'm going to focus on what made this book an interesting and unique read.

I said this is not a typical Christian historical fiction novel because its not filled with the fluff that so many of them are. "Journey to Riverbend" deals with the true, nitty gritty, and sometimes just plain horrendous parts of life, especially life in the "Old Wild West." The protagonists and heroes are flawed, dealing with their own pasts of lawlessness and sin, and are still plagued with their former lives, quite like reality. However, the truth of God's Gospel is just as, or perhaps even more relevant and life-changing, and the message of His grace and redemption is woven throughout.

One aspect of the book that was quite impressive to me, was McLaughlin's ability to create evil and despicable characters and yet show their humanity and the broken parts of their souls that made them who they were, enabling the reader to actually feel understanding and perhaps even sympathy for them.

*possible spoiler alert*
In conclusion, if you're looking for a story that is all sunshine and lollipops, with everything coming together at the end in a nice little package, without pain, heartache and sadness, this is NOT the book for you! I really appreciated Mr. McLaughlin's willingness to write out of the box, resisting the pressure to give the reader a "happily ever after", "everything coming up roses" ending that is so common in Christian fiction, but frankly so unrealistic in life and/or history.

posted by AlaskanTebowFan on July 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    A great book!

    Journey to Riverbend is an amazing book! I loved the plot, the characters, and everything about the book. The plot was perfect, the characters were perfectly described, and the book was just amazing! I love romances, so this book to me was one of the best. Romances are my big thing and this western romance was just great! A perfect read that anyone will enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014

    Enjoyable

    I enjoyed the storyline very much. My only negative is the ending was a bit confusing to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    An inspirational western

    This book had a LOT of violence in it. It reminded me of Lonesome Dove. It seemed to take forever to read the 303 pages. This has been described as a western romance, but I disagree with the romance part. There was not much romance in it. It was a western and was written as a Christian Inspirational. It left some sub plots unresolved and I was wondering if there was going to be a sequal. The characters seemed to be flat and uninteresting. The author needed to develop their personality more. The book had a good plot, and was belivable, the time frame was accurate and seemed well researched. It was extremely well written and edited. I would read other books by this author. Four stars instead of five because of the violence in an inspirational book.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Solid first book

    A solid first offering from new author Henry McLaughlin, this book had many things I enjoyed and only a few I perhaps didn't.

    Our main characters are Michael Archer (who has come to town solely to deliver a message from a dead man to his estranged father) and Rachel Stone (a former prostitute - she was essentially forced into the lifestyle following long term molestation and abuse), who has an incredibly close relationship with Christ. They are both well defined examples of redemption and forgiveness - I loved how really, the majority of the town embraced Rachel - and those who sterotypically judged her were frowned upon, interesting for that time period (1878). I also enjoyed learning more about the 'search posse' - I understood the concept, but the author clearly illustrated how people really stuck their necks out for others, because it was the right thing to do.

    I could have lived without some of the uber-descriptiveness of the, shall we say, romantic interludes and even the violence - some things (totally my opinion) would have been a bit better left to my quite active imagination.

    As a whole, although I can't say I LOVED it, found it to be a good read.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Great Christian Western!

    Some books take me a bit of time to get into. This book is one of them. But once I was interested, I was hooked, and could hardly put it down. The book opens with an introduction to Michael Archer and Ben Carstairs. Michael works as a jail chaplain, and Ben is about to be hung for a crime he didn't commit. Right before he dies, Ben asks Michael to make amends with his father, Sam Carstairs, for him. Michael arrives in Riverbend, Sam's hometown, and discovers that Sam is out of town on business. He soon meets Rachel Stone, a beautiful girl with a less than reputable past, who lives with the preacher and his wife. Michael is able to relate to her because he has some things in his past that he would like to hide.

    Sam Carstairs is a ruthless businessman who will do whatever it takes to get ahead. His past shady business dealings come to haunt him, and he starts receiving notes from someone who wants him to pay for what he has done. He is kidnapped on the stagecoach on his way home, and the news gets to Riverbend. They put a posse together to find him, and Michael decides to join.

    I'm not going to give any more of the story away, but I can assure you this book will have you turning page after page. It's a very good story set in the old west. I really liked how the author painted Michael Archer as a strong man of God who is able to influence the men around him. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted February 17, 2011

    Great book...but longed for more in the end!

    Journey to Riverbend is a good book that weaves the truth of God's love and redemption throughout. I loved everything about the story, except I longed to read a better ending. The ending showed a promise of what to come, but not the actual fullfillment. That is the only thing I would have added!
    Michael Archer travels to Riverbend to fulfill the dying wish of Ben Carstairs, a young man that was wrongly convicted of a crime and put to death. Ben longed to make amends with his father, Sam, but was not able to before he was killed. Michael, who ministered to Ben, promised to go see Sam Carstairs in his place. Michael meets a young woman named Rachel when he gets to Riverbend. Even though they both have a troubled past, they have become believers of Jesus and have tried to go on with their lives. They both have feelings for each other, but Rachel is not sure she is ready for love. Soon, it becomes clear that Sam has been kidnapped, so Michael joins a posse to look for him so that he can finish his mission. During his absence from Riverbend, Michael and Rachel both realized their true feelings for each other. There are many extra characters and plots within the this story that keep it interesting!

    I received this book free from the publisher in order to write a review. I was not obligated to write a positive review, only to write my own opinion of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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