First, There Is a River (Spirit of the River Series #1)

First, There Is a River (Spirit of the River Series #1)

by Kathy Steffen
3.8 1046


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First, There Is a River (Spirit of the River Series #1) by Kathy Steffen

In this2tale of heartache and self-discovery, Emma seeks2solace on her uncle's boat, where she is greeted by the kindness and companionship of a stranger. As she learns about herself and the possibility of happiness, her vengeful husband follows close behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932815931
Publisher: Medallion Media Group
Publication date: 09/28/2007
Series: Spirit of the River Series , #1
Edition description: REV
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 726,694
Product dimensions: 5.08(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Kathy Steffen belongs to the International Women's Writing Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America. She lives outside Madison, Wisconsin.

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First, There Is a River 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1046 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with such engaging characters that you can't put it down. You are immediately captured and drawn into their lives, and the book is so visual you can see it unfold as if in a movie. To witness the main character evolve from a frightened shell of a person, into a strong independent woman is a revelation. It is inspirational for anyone who ever wonders if they can succeed. The descriptions of the workings of a riverboat, living on a riverboat --are vivid and you feel the author knows exactly what takes place. The book touches your heart, makes you laugh and makes you cry --it is just a great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After I finished reading 'First, There is a River,' by Kathy Steffen, I started thinking about what makes a book memorable. Out of the thousands of books we read in our lives, what is it that makes us remember plotlines and characters years after we've read a particular book? I think part of it might be that something about the story resonates with the reader. Another component could be that the characters are so well-drawn that they become real people to the reader and as the story unfolds, the reader comes to feel he or she has a vested interest in the outcome. This novel about a wife's escape from her abusive husband is just such a story. 'First, There is a River' should not be dismissed as a story about abuse. This story is more about hope and redemption as heroine Emma Perkins flees from her abusive husband Jared, taking a job as a cook aboard the 'Spirit,' a riverboat co-owned by her uncle Quentin. The journey down the river parallels Emma's path to regaining her sense of self-worth as she struggles to find the courage to escape the cycle of abuse her life has become and find a way to regain her children, who have been sold into labor by Jared. As Emma emerges from her cocoon of fear and begins to thrive aboard 'The Spirit,' her tentative friendship with Gage, an engineer scarred from youth from an explosion aboard a riverboat, becomes a poignant romance. Gage is the quiet, reflective antithesis of Emma's brutal husband Jared, and Emma gradually falls for the kind, perceptive engineer, unaware that Jared remains on shore, following the path of the riverboat, waiting for the opportunity to exact his revenge, not only against Emma, but against all those who have assisted her in reclaiming her life, especially Gage. Set during the days when elaborate excursion boats paraded up and down the Ohio river, the author infuses her story with fascinating descriptions of the riverboats and details about life on the river, using her research to form a framework for her story without detracting from the story by inundating the reader with too much detail. The result is an engrossing, exciting story set against a colorful, unusual backdrop. I will remember Emma and Gage's story for a long time to come.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1900 in the Ohio Valley, the neighbors assume that Emma and Jared Perkins share a wonderful life raising two children Toby and Sarah on their farm. However, after twelve years of living in hell, Emma knows that her hardworking spouse hides from their neighbors that he beats her over every little perceived error. However, Emma remains with Jared insuring he does not harm their children from him. That bind ends when he hires away their offspring to a nearby farmer.--------------- With no ties to bind her, Emma flees to the safety of her uncle¿s riverboat The Spirit of the River. To earn her keep, she cooks. She makes real friends with Lily another cook, Captain Briggs, and especially Gage-the engineer, who hides from society ever since a riverboat accident scarred his face. As an outraged humiliated Jared comes to claim his wife to teach her a lesson in loyalty, Emma begins to emotionally heal and while she does so Gage does as well..--------------- Kathy Steffen provides her audience with a powerful historical fiction that focuses on the lack of rights for women and the lack of protection for children. Emma is a fabulous as the only reason she remains with abuser Jared is their offspring, but once he sells them into child labor, she has no ties. The support cast including the river and the boat is strong as it brings out a bygone era. The romance is unnecessary though well written as FIRST, THERE IS A RIVER is foremost a character-driven deep historical tale.-------
Jeanne Ennis More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Full of interesting characters that were so well-drawn they were easy to visualize. The same can also be said for the descriptions of the setting and time period. The story kept my interest throughout. It isn't a book I would cringe at my teenage children reading - i.e. no graphic sex scenes (Barnes and Noble really needs to update to allow for parental controls. It's great that my kids and I can share games on our Nooks, but I don't want them having access to ALL my books. No way to control that unfortunately). This came close to being a five star book for me, but some aspects of the plot seemed to strain credulity and the ending wasn't completely satisfying. A good book though. I will probably buy the author's subsequent book that tells the story of Emma's children ten years later. Thanks for the worthy freebie Barnes and Noble.
Renee Wade More than 1 year ago
This book was mostly good. The end was a little unsatisfying. I wish she would have tied up all the loose ends a little better, but all in all a good easy read. And stop retelling the whole book in your reviews people!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author of this book has either done some really good research, or knows the river well enough to write about it in detail. As someone who lives on the Mississippi River, I enjoyed this aspect. The storyline is at times spellbinding, and at times it is heartwrenching. Many could relate to the hardships of the main characters, in some way, shape or form. This gives it a realistic aspect that pulls you right into the story. Overall, the more you read it, the more you want to read it, and the more intriguing it gets.
GypsyWitch More than 1 year ago
There are so many vivid images in this book and the story line is awesome. This would make an awesome movie. I have not been able to put this book down since I downloaded it for FREE last Friday. Thank you Kathy Steffen for writing this awesome novel and thank you Barnes and Noble for giving this book to us for FREE last Friday. It started my weekend off on a romantic riverboat advanture.
Genni More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. At, first I didn't like the authors writing, but I warmed up to it. I liked most of the characters, except for Jared (duh), but someti,es Briggs offended me and just annoyed me. So I wish Briggs, as a main character was more likable, such as others like Gage, Lil, or Em. It really made me think for a second (this book) because I never thought of the personal conflicts everyone had in he 1900s, such as an abusive husband and degrading of women, or people that just look different, like some people do today. Overall, this was a really good book, but I didn't love it either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have finally read this free Friday book. I liked it so much that I bought another from this author. I do not read any long reviews for fear of ruining a good story. I enjoyed this wonderful story and recommend it. I tend to start by looking at negative reviews first...what I read was complaints about reviewers, not about book. Took a chance and so glad. Please read the synopsis of book and give it a try. I am REALLY glad I did. Enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book held my interest until somewhere in the middle where I began tofeel as tho I had read this before.As I continued on I knew then I had not. Perhaps the scenerio was simular to another that I had read. The Rest of the book was exciting, I could not put this book down. I had to see it thru to the end which was very dramatic,surprising and good. I enjoyed this book .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book very easy read!
Lauren Pinto More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and its characters. The power of friendship and love travels down this river leading a woman to find her courage and strength. Super inspiring! Loved it!
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Awesome imagery and storyline. Felt as if I was part of the book
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There were many parts of the story that I took issue with however it was well written.
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