Tomorrow River

( 30 )

Overview

From the national bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark.

During the summer of 1968 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, eleven-year- old Shenandoah Carmody's mother disappeared. Her twin sister, Woody, stopped speaking, and her once-loving father slipped into a mean drunkenness unbefitting a superior court judge.

As the first anniversary of their mother's disappearance nears, her father's threat to send Woody away and his hints at an impending...

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Overview

From the national bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark.

During the summer of 1968 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, eleven-year- old Shenandoah Carmody's mother disappeared. Her twin sister, Woody, stopped speaking, and her once-loving father slipped into a mean drunkenness unbefitting a superior court judge.

As the first anniversary of their mother's disappearance nears, her father's threat to send Woody away and his hints at an impending remarriage spur a desperate Shenny to find her mother-before it's too late.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In Kagen's hardcover debut (Land of a Hundred Wonders, 2008), a young Virginia girl puzzles over her mother's disappearance. It is 1969, shortly before the moon landing and one year since Shenny's mother Evie, an educated, liberal Yankee whom Shenny's father married against his family's wishes, disappeared. Shenny's twin sister Woody-the girls are 11 when the story opens-has stopped speaking and their father Walter, a respected judge from the influential Carmody family, has become a raving drunk who locks the girls in the root cellar overnight when they disobey his orders to stay home in order to avoid communication with anyone outside the family. Tomboy Shenny and increasingly fragile Woody disobey frequently, visiting the friends Evie cultivated behind her husband's back as their marriage soured. The girls are especially fond of Beezy, an elderly black woman who was once a Carmody servant, and her handsome, blue-eyed son Sam, who used to be a police detective in Illinois before he came home to run a gas station. Since no body or clues have been found, the local sheriff investigating Evie's disappearance seems to have hit a dead end. Shenny starts her own investigation with no better luck. Her acuity is questionable. Although she claims to be surprised by her father's transformation from loving to abusive father, she was aware of the troubles in her parents' marriage which involved Walter's attempts to bully Evie the same way his father and brother bully all the women in their lives. The Carmody men are cartoonishly evil-rich, misogynistic, predatory and racist-while Shenny's Carmody grandmother is a Catholic religious fanatic. Although Kagen makes references to cultural touchstoneslike Vietnam and the moon landing, her version of 1969 Virginia veers from anachronistically innocent to anachronistically backward. And Shenny's determined pluck seems both too innocently young and too precocious to coalesce into a believable 12-year-old. Shenny starts her narration by warning that first impressions "can be dead wrong," but there's never a question as to who's good or bad in her story.
Publishers Weekly
Set during the summer of '69 in rural Virginia, Kagen's stellar third novel, her first in hardcover, chronicles the dramatic changes in the lives of 11-year-old Shenny Carmody and her twin sister, Woody, nearly a year after their mother's disappearance. Woody hasn't spoken since, and their father, a renowned judge, spends most of his nights in a drunken stupor at Lilyfield, their Rockbridge County estate, often turning violent and cruel toward his two daughters. Shenny, adventurous and bright, takes it upon herself to locate their beloved Mama and discover why she left them. In her quest for the truth, Shenny learns many heart-wrenching lessons, not least among them that first impressions “can be dead wrong.” Kagen (Whistling in the Dark) not only delivers a spellbinding story but also takes a deep look into the mores, values, and shams of a small Southern community in an era of change. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451233080
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 659,888
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Lesley Kagen

Lesley Kagen is the author of The New York Times bestsellers Whistling in the Dark, Land of a Hundred Wonders, and Tomorrow River.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Twist After Twist After Twist

    I had the pleasure of reading a galley of Tomorrow River. Lesley Kagen does it again with engaging characters, interesting setting, and a plot that flies. Curiosity and tension kept me glued to the pages. A great job of hiding the truth from the reader through the whole ride of a story. Emotional visuals and surprises, character development with familiar flavor. Kagen's voice is as strong and engaging as ever. She shines through her characters, bringing them so close, making them so familiar, that I wanted to believe right along with them. This story touched my heart while keeping my nerves on edge. Loved it. A must read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2010

    Emotional and Provocative

    I just loved this book!! The author perfectly depicts the relationship between the twin girls and their less than perfect situation. I especially liked the tension between the girls' perceived reality and the reader's (more adult) perspective. I would recommend it to anyone.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I recommend!

    This is a page-turning novel of suspense and intrigue with interesting characters that come alive. Things are not what they appear. Shenandoah Wilson and Jane Woodrow are 12 year old twin girls living in West Virginia. Seeing the world through the eyes of a 12 year old child brings a sense of honesty and understanding that will leave you touched and tearful. This novel has a number of unexpected twists, which makes turning each page a delight. I truly enjoyed this one! I recommend!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    love it

    I love this book and all of her others...see my recommendations

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Great Style

    I've read everything by this author and have enjoyed each book, but this is by far the best one. Two girls in the South and a Mother who has "left". I suggest you pick it up when there is nothing else you neef to do. The first page will grab your interest and the book will not let up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Wow

    This was an excellent book..it took me on a wild adventure i would tell anyone to read this wonderful book

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  • Posted April 1, 2012

    A heartfelt portrayal of two young girls. Set in the South, it'

    A heartfelt portrayal of two young girls. Set in the South, it's reminiscent of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Authentic and moving.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Give it a try!!

    This was quite a different way to tell a story but actually I loved it!!!

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Good Read

    Many times throughout the novel I thought I had the story all figured out - not! There were places I felt that it was a little slow, only to find a new twist unfolding. I loved that about this story. The two girls are so endearing throughout their horrible circumstances, and I loved the richness of the characters. A good story with more than a few good mantras for life.

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

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Wonderful Read and only on page 96!

    Its amazing to me how this book is actually affecting me physically! I find I am so tensed up for Shenendoah's predicaments that I am wanting to yell at her to run away from this danger! LOVE LOVE LOVE the way Kagen can bring this out through spectacular scene setting and dialogue!

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    Unpredictable!

    Whenever I thought I knew what was going to happen, there'd be a twist and a turn and I'd be all wrong. I really came to like Shenny, the main character, though at first I wasn't sure about the dialect. Then I realized it defined her character. At times I was reminded of The Glass Castle, other times of To Kill a Mockingbird. A different and enjoyable read!

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    Posted January 14, 2010

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