Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Hope, that’s what our souls need… The River gave me what I could not give myself…a reason.
Sweet cinnamon, what a refreshing read. I’m not even an outdoorsy type, most of the time, but Into the Canyon took me straight there, right into the wonder of God’s open, living creation, with fantastic imagery from author Michael Neale. And, hey, the book’s awesome cover didn’t do a bad job at all of setting the stage for the story.
Admission: I turned on waterfall “white noise” to play in the background while I read much of this novel, but even without my added sound effects, I could have been standing right at The River’s edge by way of the images Neale uses to bring Gabriel’s story of love, fears, forgiveness, and abundant living to life. Blake’s soul-searching account blends in well, and his sentiment while out on the water in Gabriel’s enlightening world makes sense: “It was like one part of me started to die and one part of me started to awaken from the dead.”
While Gabriel has fear, grief, and anger issues to work through as a young man, it seems that his turning point is more or less glossed over, that we see him struggle during specific events and express his doubts to Ezra about whether to believe in God, and then the narrator just tells us that Gabriel’s perspective is changing, instead of, perhaps, giving us another specific event or words from young Gabriel to show us how the change in his thinking begins. Also, the use of “The River” metaphor/phrase does get somewhat repetitive.
Yet, the journey into the canyon is worth taking, and I’d encourage readers not to “try” to read into the novel but to let the story find them where it finds them, to be refreshed by it.
It’s important to share our stories. It helps us know we aren’t alone.
Before Into the Canyon comes The River. Click the cover to take a look.