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The River, By Moonlight
     

The River, By Moonlight

by Camille Marchetta
 

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On a rainy April night in 1917, a passing vagrant sees a young woman fall (or is it jump?) into New York City's Hudson River. He tries to save her, but fails. The police tentatively identify the woman as Lily Canning, twenty-five years old, from Minuit, a town in the Hudson Valley.

But is it Lily? The question torments her mother, Henrietta, as she awaits

Overview

On a rainy April night in 1917, a passing vagrant sees a young woman fall (or is it jump?) into New York City's Hudson River. He tries to save her, but fails. The police tentatively identify the woman as Lily Canning, twenty-five years old, from Minuit, a town in the Hudson Valley.

But is it Lily? The question torments her mother, Henrietta, as she awaits confirmation. And when it comes, even more anguishing questions arise, for neither accident nor suicide makes sense. Lily could swim like a fish, and with her looks, and wealth, and talent, with an exhibition of her paintings about to open at a prestigious New York gallery, she had everything to live for.

In the days following her drowning, her heartbroken mother, her estranged husband, Edmund, her family, her friends, even the servant girl, Nuala, try to unravel Lily's secrets and to come to terms with the devastating consequences of her loss on their own lives.

Set in New York City and the Hudson River Valley, when the country was poised on the brink of the First World War, "The River, By Moonlight" is a vivid evocation of time and place, and a poignant portrayal of what happens when individual actions and national events collide.

Above all, it is a deeply moving study of grief and despair, of the resilience of human nature, and the triumph of determination and hope.

Editorial Reviews

BookReview.com
"The River" works not only as a story of loss, but as historical fiction. Beyond frequent mention of America's entrance into World War I - and the debate of several male characters on enlisting - Marchetta details the era's newspapers, river industry and the advent of Pablo Picasso's modern art. The writing also has a vintage feel to it, with character voices matching their station: old-fashioned precision for the wealthy, calm and conversational for servant and rougher everyday for Edmund's newspaperman background.

Though Lily's chapter takes away some of the momentum, it is quickly restored by the last chapter taking place five years later. Characters have died or moved on with their lives, and Lily becomes an image that they turn to on occasion to simply ask "why?" With this feeling of loss and recovery the book closes, ending on the themes which make "The River, By Moonlight" such a forceful read.

VirtualWordsmith.blogspot.com
The River, By Moonlight seems, at first glance, to be a murder mystery. It is not. When Lily dies, her family and friends find themselves entrenched in the mystery of why a vibrant, talented young woman would choose to end it all. We travel with them through their immense grief and confusion, their love and guilt flayed open like an unexpected and gruesome wound. Camille Marchetta never flinches in this raw, but hopeful story of how people deal with a death they can't possibly understand.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781602640184
Publisher:
Virtualbookworm.com
Publication date:
08/01/2007
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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