Tuesday, September 25, 2012
We all know at some point in our lives, chapters in our life stories must reach an end before new one's begin and that is just what happens in the conclusion to the Inn at the Shining Water Series of books by Melody Carlson, River's End. It's a book of some sadness, anxiety, hope and of course new waters to chart, but it is also filled with the most heartbreaking and sweetest goodbyes as well.
If you have followed the series from the beginning with River's Song, you learn about Anna's story and her Indian heritage and why the river holds a place for her people and offers any who come to live here a chance for healing and restoration. In River's Call, we learn about Anna's daughter Lauren and the healing of a broken relationship between Anna and Lauren, and finally now a grandmother in River's End, and the prodigal returning home of her missing granddaughter, Sarah who has gone without a trace for two years. She has answered the call of the river and came home.
Now as history repeats itself, mother and daughter are at odds and bitterness between the two continues to escalate as one tries to heal and the other tries find a path towards forgiveness. Each is trying too hard to make the other one see the path towards new beginnings as Sarah returns home from living in a commune in Oregon that seems to have inspired a bit of sadness and harbors grudges towards her mother for not being good enough while she was growing up. Lauren on the other hand wants nothing more than to apologize and move forward without recognizing the pain and hurt that Sarah is carrying within her heart, she wants the quick band aid fix but the pain goes much deeper than Lauren realizes.
As Anna tries to help them work together to find healing along the water by working at the Inn during the summer season, it only seems to do nothing more but cause each of them to avoid the other for the sake of not getting into heated confrontations, and drive them further apart. Anna's mother-in-law, Hazel, returns home from a long trip in China only to return home ill. Anna hopes some old-fashioned home made remedies might do her some good but soon we find out that Hazel's heart has grown much older than she feels and Anna and Clark along with some of the readers must find a way to say good-bye to a loveable character that has been so prominent from the very beginning. Will Lauren and Sarah find healing in the passing legacy Hazel has to leave behind, or will the river's call go unanswered between the two?
I received River's End compliments of Abingdon Press and Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review. In this series it shows the lasting consequences that can happen when we let bitterness poison our hearts and keep us from the opportunity to say our final good-byes to those we love the most. It shows how forgiveness isn't about letting someone off the hook for the pain they have caused, but more about the healing that happens within our own hearts when we can let the burden go and finally move forward in freedom spiritually. While the river I believe is a metaphor for the spiritual river all of us have running through our lives, we must all heed to its call and return home to God, for without it we will be left in a faithless drought and always be searching in thirst for something to fill it unless it's God. Only He can fill the emptiness in anyone's life and that's why I rate this series a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. Trust me, you'll want to read this series from the first book to gain all the insight you can from Melody Carlson's words!
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