River's Song (Inn at Shining Waters Series #1)

( 67 )

Overview

Following her mother’s funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents’ belongings, as well as her own turbulent life.

For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage,despite the disdain of her vicious mother-in-law. By transforming her old family home on the banks of the Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing—a place where guests ...

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Overview

Following her mother’s funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents’ belongings, as well as her own turbulent life.

For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage,despite the disdain of her vicious mother-in-law. By transforming her old family home on the banks of the Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing—a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings. Starting with her own family . . .

“Melody Carlson painted a serene and unforgettable sense of place that came alive with shimmering waters, one woman’s dream, life-changing wisdom, and characters I care about … I’m seriously hooked on the series!"— Kathy Herman, author of Secrets of Roux River Bayou Series and the Sophie Trace Trilogy

"Melody Carlson's River's Song eased through me gently layer by layer, deeper and deeper. This story of re-awakening or renewal appears deceptively simple but wields great emotional power. I look forward to book 2 in The Inn at Shining Rivers series." — Lyn Cote, Author ofHer Abundant Joy

"In River’s Song, Melody Carlson beautifully tells a generational story of a family living alongside the banks of Oregon’s Siuslaw River. Told with sensitivity and insight the story includes a Native American thread, deals with issues of abuse, and weaves an ending full of redemption and grace. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series!" Leslie Gould, Beyond the Blue and co-author of The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny, with Mindy Starns Clark

g her old family home on the banks of the Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing—a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings. Starting with her own family . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this opener for the Inn at Shining Waters series, it's 1959 and Anna Larson, a widow with a spoiled teenage daughter and a nasty mother-in-law, returns to the home where she grew up following her mother's funeral. Her relationships are complex for personal and social reasons: Anna is half Native American, but her late mother turned away from the family heritage, and her mother-in-law is racist and condescending. Back where she started, Anna begins to re-examine her past, her family, and her heritage, aided by assorted locals and the healing Siuslaw River, which, according to native legend, holds stars that make it shine. Carlson (Limelight) has a real gift for propelling a story forward, and she has a nice feel for the Oregon countryside, where she lives. There are problems: mother-in-law Eunice is more caricature than character, and the plotting relies on some significant coincidences (for example, Anna happens to meet a friendly anthropologist while canoeing). But Carlson's many fans will enjoy this one and await the next canoe trip. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426712661
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2011
  • Series: Inn at Shining Waters Series , #1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 595,776
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 200 books, including Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon, Limelight, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, Melody is also the author of Homeward, which won a Rita Award. Melody and her husband live in central Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Great story

    Love, love, love this book! One of my favorites...

    ?River's Song by Melody Carlson is the story of Anna Larson, a woman who finds peace and renewed strength after years of living under the harsh disapproval of her mother-in-law. Left alone with a child after the injury and then death of her husband, she has no other choice but to live with this woman who's obvious disdain for her, makes her life miserable. The death of her own mother brings Anna back to the childhood home she remembers along the Siuslaw River where she finds healing for her broken life.

    I didn't get 'hooked' until about the third chapter and then the story just caught me... I couldn't put it down. The scenery was vivid and peaceful... I could feel the calm of the river as if I were there. The characters were down-to-earth and friendly. I felt as if I knew them. I found myself encouraged by Anna's story of healing and restoration after being beaten down by her circumstances (and her mother-in-law) for so long. She regained her strength and refused to remain under the control of others who would think she wasn't 'good enough' because of her heritage.

    I think you'll enjoy this book. It's rich with Native American history and the stories told within it are great. I'm about ready to be a guest at The Inn at Shining Waters! I was actually sad to be finished and I can't wait for the next book in the series... I know it's gonna be great!

    *Thank you, Glass Road Productions, for providing me with a copy of this book and allowing me to be a part of your review program! :)

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You will become so immersed in the story, you'll forget where you are!

    Anna Larson feels the pull of returning home. Back to the home she shared with her parents and her grandmother, back to the love of the land beside the still river. Returning home following her mother's funeral, Anna returns back home to the river, where she is making final arrangements on her parents property that hugs 40 acres of river and forest land. Once a small market, the home is long overgrown with weeds and a closed sign still hangs in the cob-web filled window.

    She should have returned home sooner. Back to her childhood home, back to the love of her mother and back to her roots as a Native American. Spending her years carrying for her husband that came back from the war wounded more than just losing his arm, he also carried some deep emotional wounds as well. Never being good enough for more that just taking care of the house and cooking, Anna wasn't even good enough for her mother-in-law Eunice. Being classified as a less than human being because of her culture, Eunice kept Anna in her home after her son passed away from his war wounds and partly to care for her granddaughter, Lauren, who was becoming more like her rich, snobby grandmother every day.

    Now that Anna has come home, the land calls to her once more. Remembering all the "old ways" from her grandmother from basket making to collecting old stories has kept her heritage alive. Sharing the river with an old college student named Hazel whose working on her doctriate by studying old Indian tribes, she finds companionship and solace in sharing her background and life with Hazel. Hazel inspires her to transform her home into a Bed and Breakfast, since the house is so large and she has plenty of land to build on. Now she is pulled in two different directions, will she return home to take care of the house for Eunice and Lauren or will she use the land and river to heal the hearts that come to stay at the Inn by the Still Waters?

    I received the novel, River's Song by Melody Carlson, compliments of Glass Road Public Relations for my honest review and found my blood pressure at ease, my stress level lower than it has been in some time, as I found myself a silent character being cared for by Anna Larson. Just the words that Melody uses to describe the land and the way the water of the river sparkled like diamonds in the sun, paints such a vivid picture, you find yourself disappointed when you realize your not really there. I highly recommend this book and award it 5 out of 5 stars. For those seeking a place of tranquility and peace, you'll find it with Anna Larson beside the Siuslaw River in Oregon.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

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    3 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    10 stars

    River's Song by Melody Carlson in the first book in her new series The Inn At Shining Waters. As with every Melody Carlson book I've read, this novel did not disappoint.

    Set along the banks of Oregon's Siuslaw River, widowed Anna Larson returns home to put her life back together after her mother 's funeral. As a Native American, her life has not been an easy one. The tension between her manipulative mother-in-law has strained Anna's relationship with her daughter.

    As Anna sorts through her mother's belongings, she begins to proudly embrace her heritage with the help of an older French lady named Babette. Babette shares stories about Anna's Grandma Pearl, and old family history Anna thought was lost forever. One day, while Anna was busy cleaning the cabin, a quirky older woman, Hazel Chenoweth, an anthropologist from the University of Oregon, rows up the Siuslaw River, in search of Native Americans. Once she explains to Anna that she is doing her doctoral thesis on coastal Indian tribes, Hazel soon become a mother figure in her life. Hazel, always full of enthusiasm, has a brilliant business idea for Anna that just might work!

    I loved this book and can't wait to read it's sequel, River's Call which continues where this novel ends. Melody Carlson paints word pictures which draw the reader in at the first page. As I read, I could picture the gentle lapping of the river water, the cool night air, and the endearing people along the water's edge who watch over Anna and love her as their child. If you have never read this author, you won't want to miss this book. Visit your favorite book dealer to purchase her novels for adults as well as teens. Thank you Melody for another treasure!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Generations of Heritage

    20 years have passed since Anna has returned to her childhood home on the Siuslaw River in Oregon. Anna's mother was full Siuslaw Indian, her father from Sweden and they ran a store along the river. Anna's Grandmother Pearl embraced her heritage, while Anna's mother tried to move on to modern times, disregarding her Indian heritage. Anna always had an interest in the stories of her Grandma Pearl.

    Anna inherits the store and home of her parents. Hazel, a stranger to Anna but soon a trusted friend is doing her doctorate on the Siuslaw tribe and is pleased to run into Anna and find her so willing to share her knowledge with memories with Hazel. Hazel's son Clark comes to help them bring electricity and phone service to the river home and encourages Anna to conform the store into a lodge along the river. With Hazel and Clark's help Anna is able to face her 'cave monsters', to become strong, and to start living a peaceful life.

    Relationships are a big theme in this novel, with the start of Anna's grandma Pearl and her heritage. The family dynamics are greatly emphasized with Anna and her parents, Anna and her daughter Lauren, Anna and her mother in law, and Anna and the new friends she is meeting on the river, Hazel and Clark. We are shown unhealthy relationships in the novel as well as those that are refreshing and renewing.

    Set on the river in peaceful Oregon, this book is layered in history and relationship. It was a fantastic read and I look forward to the second book in the series.

    I recieved a copy of this book from Glass Road in exchange for an honest review

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A great book how a young woman finds herself

    As Anna Larson returns to her old home after her mother's death on Orgon's Siuslaw River she left behind her nineteen year old daughter and her mother-in-law whom thinks she is their slave. She had lost her husband and her mother-in-law is a very controling woman so she told Anna that the only choice she had was to move into her large house. So not knowing any better Anna moved herself and little daughter in with the woman and found that she was expected to be the cook, be the laundry lady and the house keeper as her mother-in-law taught her daughter that this was how Anna was to repaid for living in this house.

    But after Anna got back to the river and saw her Mother's home that she had grown up in she just decided to stay and try to make it on her own. She wanted her daughter to come live with her but she is not certain if she will.

    As she found her place on the river as she was half Indian and soon found out that her mother-in-law had been holding out on her as far as her money was concerned. Anna's husband had been in the service and died after coming home but something that happened while he was serving out country. He was also was running the mill that his father had started, but Anna was not supposed to know all of this.

    This was a very good book and showed how women can be used and denied things that are really hers. I read this in two settings I just didn't want to put it down.

    Thanks to Leann Hamby and Glass Roads for sending me this book to review and do the tour.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    good quick read

    This is a good book for a quick read. There were some 'errors' that made it hard to read in parts. (needed some proof reading before release)
    It was a great book to pick up, and read at anytime for any length of time. A good start for an ongoing series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    good book, poor nook

    The story was agood one, but the nook was poorly done. Many, many times the quotes from various charachters were in the wrong order.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Great story line, relaxing read.

    really liked the story but the nook edition was very poorly edited. It really needs some work and if I were the author would pull it until it was corrected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Great Life Lessons

    I would probably give this 3.5 stars if I could but decided to bump it up rather than down because there are so many great messages and life lessons in it. It's a great illustration of what certain people and influences can do to one's self confidence and self esteem. It's also a great illustration of how healing and strength can come from adversity and forgiveness. The only reason it wasn't perfect for me was the poor editing and mixed up paragraphs in the Nook version I read. I also felt the dialog was a bit stilted and awkward at times. The message was right on though and I will definitely want to read the sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nostalgia & Picturesque Scenery Combined With a Heartfelt Story

    I have yet to pick up a Melody Carlson novel I dislike and this is no exception. Though with this book her byline was not the only draw. It takes place in one of my favorite settings, Oregon. Though I've never actually set foot in the Siuslaw valley as an Oregonian that doesn't matter, the picturesque valleys of the state all have a unique draw I've yet to seen equaled elsewhere. Even Anna's character in the book is different as reflected in her childhood home of the river valley than the repressive home of her mother-in-law. The Anna seen by her friends and neighbors of the river community is a person the people of Pine Ridge could never envision inhabiting the "body" they call "Anna" who keeps house for Eunice. When Anna returns to clean out the store and home where she was raised she realizes the true meaning of home and freedom. Eunice's never fit either category and Anna can never feel comfortable going back to the way things were. Those unhealthy ties must be severed even if her daughter chooses not to come. As Anna begins to find her own heritage once again and realizes what it means to have a home of her own even one that requires catering to overnight guests she also discovers that nearly anything is better than the way things were with her mother-in-law ordering her around with demeaning slurs all day long. Thanks to Abingdon Press and Glass Road Public Relations for a review copy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Beautiful story of a woman coming home

    River's Song by Melody Carlson is the first book in the Inn at Shining Waters series. In 1959, Anna Gunderson has returned to her family home on Oregon's Siuslaw River. She's spent the last nineteen years under the thumb of her controlling mother-in-law who often belittles her for her Native American heritage and has stolen the affections of her daughter, Lauren, through expensive gifts. Anna has come home to deal with the estate of her mother who recently passed away, leaving the land to Anna. Once home, Anna quickly finds her soul healing after decades of pain and numbness, the rhythm of life on the river reminds her of all that she has lost and of whom she is, including a Siuslaw Indian. She quickly decides to stay on the river and turn the old family store into a bed and breakfast, the Inn of the Shining Waters, named after one of the legends her Grandma Pearl often told her. I'm more familiar with Carlson's young adult stories, and this was a pleasant surprise. Anna is such a gentle and beautiful soul, I found myself aching and furious for the abuse she faced at Eunice's hands. The story grows naturally, at a steady pace, as Anna finds herself and some joy in life again. Carlson parallels the story of Anna's great-grandmother, who was forced from her home on the river to a reservation where she couldn't show her true self and was mocked and belittled before finding her way back home and making a good life. Anna's story follows this path, and Carlson's storytelling is elegant and restrained. This is not a loud or thrilling story full of explosions and blood; it's a quiet, yet beautiful story of a woman finding her way home and wanting to share that joy with others. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Healing, Restoration And Moving On Equal A Delightful Read

    Melody Carlson in her new book, "River's Song" Book One in The Inn at Shining Waters series published by Abingdon Press takes us to Oregon in 1959.

    After her mother's funeral Anna Larson is returning to the home where she grew up to close it up and go and live with her mother-in-law. Once Anna is home in Oregon by the banks of the Siuslaw River she begins to uncoil all her wound up emotions and let the stress flow away from her on the river. Anna meets new friends: Hazel, an anthropologist studying the local Indian populations for her upcoming doctoral thesis, who encourages Anna to open an inn and her son, Clark. Now Anna explores her Indian heritage and feels that the inn could be used for others to heal as well.

    Melody Carlson knows how to tell a story and in "River's Song" she has given us a book where we can explore how to deal with our own pain while watching how Anna deals with hers. "River's Song" is an amazingly beautiful story of how God can take our hurts and turn the bad into things that are good. I liked this book and am looking forward to return to The Inn at Shining Waters.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and business professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where it is available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Glass Road Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Anonymous

    I was very disappointed in the nook edition. Many quotes were out of order and I had to figure out where they belonged. This is the first time I have encountered this many mistakes in an e book.

    The story was a very good read and the characters were great. If u dont mind bad editing it is worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    Loved this book!

    The author brought to life all the characters in this book. You can just picture them and what they are like. As well as the river and life on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    I liked this...

    This was light reading, and enjoyable. Was a quick read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    heartwarming story

    A heartwarming relationship between book's characters that provides a very satisfying read. Excellent book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Good story but poor editing

    Liked the story but was distracted by multiple paragraphs in wrong order.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    NOOK REVIVAL!!!

    Please help us spread the word of God to all nook users! If ur interested please go to "revival for god" first result! Jesus loves u! †††

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Poor editing

    This was a good story, but the editing was horrible. There were instances in which whole paragraphs were out of order. Also there was part of a paragraph (a couple lines) repeatedly inserted where it didn't belong.

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