DANIEL ARROYO has suffered a lifetime of guilt over the sudden death of his infant sister, who died when he was eight years old. He now lives his middle years between that guilt and worsening episodes of PTSD from a Vietnam he left thirty years ago. When a violent encounter on a dusty highway forces Daniel to face what haunts him, he finds himself pulled back to the neighborhood of his youth, where old houses hold tired secrets. What really happened on that steamy August afternoon? The answer comes spilling from the old neighborhood, and Daniel begins to find his way home. Corran Harrington takes the reader along the Rio Grande, from its headwaters to the sea.
|Publisher:||Arbor Farm Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Gifted with a talent for writing, Corran Harrington takes the artist’s brush and using broad strokes of varying colors paints an exquisite picture of the life of one man, Daniel Arroyo. Daniel’s life was not always beautiful. Now filled with memories of guilt as a boy when his baby sister dies, horrors from his service in the Vietnam War, and the nightmares of PTSD, Daniel goes in search of answers to the memories that haunt him. One incident along his journey pricks his mind and takes him back to the town where he grew up. A place where memories and lies and even the truth live in the most unexpected places. Using a clever and somewhat unconventional format in Follow the River Home, Harrington writes the first part, Daniel’s life story, almost as a novella. The second part consists of short stories or essays told by Daniel’s childhood home, neighborhood, even remembered pieces of furniture and other household contents. In this way, we see Daniel’s life through not only his eyes but the eyes of these other memory holders. An enjoyable book and one so well-written you forget you are reading fiction. Yet, there are scenes of heartbreak and the terrible acts of war which take your breath away. Harrington writes both so very well. It is my hope we will see more from Corran Harrington in the future. FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.
Follow the River Home by Corran Harrington is a touching, melancholic collection told in a poetic and lyrical manner. It is highly recommended. The first part of Follow the River Home is a novella, while the second part contains supporting short pieces. The setting is in New Mexico along the Rio Grande. In the novella, we are introduced to Daniel Arroyo. Daniel has guilt, a lifetime of guilt. First he feels he is somehow responsible for the death of his baby sister, Carmen, when he was eight. We don't know what happened, but we know Daniel feels guilty and culpable. The tragedy altered his family as well. When, later, he is drafted and sent to Vietnam, he comes home with PTSD, while a childhood friend dies over there. Now, thirty years later, he is still tormented by nightmares from the war and his sister's death. His wife and children are tired of it and he is searching for some redemption from his anguish. The stories in the second part of the collection provide additional glimpses of Daniel's life and of others who lived in the home. Some of the stories are told through certain pieces of furniture in the house in relationship to the families who have owned them and their surroundings. Taken as a whole, these supporting pieces create a scaffolding to show a more complete accounting of Daniel's life. Daniel's fear and guilt is overwhelming; the answers to his questions may be found in his old neighborhood. The quality of the writing sets this collection apart. Even when dealing with dark themes, like PTSD and flashbacks, Harrington describes what Daniel is experiencing and the anguish it is causing him and his family. The sudden, abrupt shift to the supporting stories in the second half of the book may be a bit disconcerting to some readers who are expecting a smooth continuation of Daniel's story. Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and TLC for review purposes.
Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite I thought Follow the River Home by Corran Harrington was an interesting story. The book is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the life of Daniel Arroyo. Daniel lost his baby sister at a young age and never got over her death. This trauma, together with him having PTSD from Vietnam, makes his life difficult. It causes him to become distant from his family and to constantly live in the past. The second part is made up of short stories that explain Daniel’s surroundings. At first I had a hard time connecting to the main character, Daniel, but as I continued reading, I grew to like him. I saw that he had issues, but he also had a good heart. I really liked that Harrington shed light on the subject of PTSD. It is a serious issue that needs to be written about more. As I mentioned earlier, Follow the River Home is divided into two parts. The first part, The River Reader, is all about Daniel and his life. The story starts when he is a child and ends when he is an adult. I liked and I was able to relate and to understand Daniel. Daniel mourned his little sister’s death his whole life. So much, in fact, that it stopped him from living at times. Seeing Harrington’s words about someone else not being able to get over a loved one’s death was healing for me. For that I wish to thank the author. The second part of the book, The River Flyway, is made up of thirteen short stories. All these stories are in some way connected to Daniel. Some stories I thought were a little weird, but at the same time pretty clever. I have never read, nor did I ever think of furniture telling one’s own history, but now I can only imagine what antique furniture would say. My favorite of the short stories happens to be the last, Biography of a Wild Rose. This story tells about the short life of Daniel’s sister, Carmen. Harrington lets readers see the world through Carmen’s eyes. Overall, reading this book has given me new perspectives on life, and because of that this book is definitely worth reading.