From the Publisher
“The River Queen is my new favorite book; I wish I'd been the one to write something so flawless, so honest, and so resonant.” Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister's Keeper
“A journey or quest is one of the oldest literary forms, and The River Queen is a perfect example of why this genre is so satisfying. . . . Morris's trip--and her tale--are something that everyone could envy.” Los Angeles Times
“Fascinating . . . This bittersweet travel tale is told in the very real voice of a smart, sad, gutsy, and absolutely appealing woman whose odyssey transformed her life in ways she never imagined.” The Tucson Citizen
“Morris is a delightfully curious traveler. . . . She has an excellent capacity to be at once acerbic and impressed, and readers settle into Morris's story as if she is an old friend.” Booklist
“Never sentimental or maudlin, this is a realistic memoir of a strong woman on both a physical and an emotional journey at midlife.” Library Journal
“I have read The River Queen with great pleasure, because it is such an American adventure, which Mary Morris handles with verve--the Mississippi, the unexpected storms and odd encounters, but most of all how the adventure and the lark becomes a passage into memory, childhood, and the past.” Paul Theroux
In this chronicle of a self-imposed journey down the Upper Mississippi River, Morris (Nothing to Declare) attempts to figure out her future and enjoy herself. After her daughter leaves for college and her father dies, Morris opts to jump aboard a houseboat, hoping the quest will help her navigate life's troughs. It's a great idea, but the voyage is tough on the reader. Morris is a touchy trekker, making her less than a great travel companion. Until the last third of the book, she's distressed by just about everything having to do with the venture. The cramped quarters on the houseboat, the food, the once booming river towns now mostly boarded up and lonely, and the sometimes tedious pace all cause her consternation. "I hate pizza. I hate all that doughy stuff. I want a meal, shower, amenities," sums up her attitude for most of the trip. Morris sprinkles the narrative with tantalizing bits of fact and opinion regarding both the human and natural environments she encounters. This is where the book sparkles. But often she barely skims the surface, leaving the reader thirsty for more. Sadly, by the time Morris regains her spirit and begins to enjoy the adventure, readers may have jumped ship. (Apr.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.