Title: Run, River Currents
Author: Ginger Marcinkowski
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
This is a very well-written first book by Ginger Marcinkowski. This fictional story takes place in a few small towns in Canada near the border of Maine. The time period ranges from the 1940s-1970s. The author uses flashbacks to the characters’ pasts to show how they have become the people they are today. The author has chosen the extremely dark topics of incest, as well as emotional, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, and handles the subject matter in a delicate manner.
Maureen is the mother of three children. She is married to a violent man, Denny. Denny was the victim of the above-mentioned violations as a child and witnessed his father kill his mother and then set the house of fire with his mother inside. However, he tells no one of his past and he gradually becomes the man he hates—his father. He begins to drink more and more. He doles out all the same violence and evil that was done to him upon his wife and children. Maureen is beaten so severely sometimes that she can’t walk. But where can she go? This is the 1950s and the resources available to victims of abuse were basically nonexistent. She knows her husband hits her two oldest children, her daughters Stephanie and Emily. She eventually discovers the heinous acts Denny is performing on Emily, and finally leaves Denny. Maureen has longed to be somebody, the life of the party, the center of attention all her life. She makes bad decision after bad decision that leads to a miserable life for herself and her children. After leaving Denny, taking him to court for divorce and for custody of the children, she entertains man after man in search of a happiness that never arrives. As Maureen faces death, Emily notices a change in her mother and wonder if she has found forgiveness.
Emily has been afraid of the dark and loud noises for as long as she can remember. In the dark, after hearing the squeaky third stair step, is when her father comes to her room to hurt her. After he’s finished, he threatens to kill her and her family if she tells. She is only five years old when this begins. She escapes the abuse every summer because that is spent out of town at her grandparents’ house. She loves spending time outdoors in the forest and near the river. Her grandfather teaches her about logging, trees, fishing, and the river. Most importantly, he teaches her about God and his love for her. Grampy says that God will never leave her, and Emily longs to believe that, but with the reality of how everyone, except Grampy and Grandma, in her life disappoints her and hurts her, she can’t believe in this love. Jesus is a carpenter, but so is her dad and look how he treats her. As Emily grows up, she longs to find this love to heal the hurts she has experienced. She marries a man after knowing him just two days. She drinks more and more, has violent fits of jealousy if any female even looks at her husband, and is very bitter and full of rage. She keeps hanging on to her anger and hate, which eventually puts people at a distance from her. She comes to the river for a final try at obtaining peace. She has returned to her grandparents’ house, which has sat empty for years as they have passed away a long time ago. She always found peace here, but never seemed to be able to take it with her when she left. She faces the river, realizing she can’t go on like this any longer. Everyone will be better off without her and her anger. Will she succumb to the call of the river and take her own life? Will she succumb to the call of the God she heard so much about from her Grampy and give her life to Him? Her sister and brother have come to Christ as well as her husband. Can she finally let go of the bitterness and hatred and believe that she is worthy of God’s love?
At some points, I was so angry at how these children were treated and how they were so innocent and unprotected and hurt by the two people who should be protecting them! While their mother didn’t physically abuse them, she always kept them at a distance and let them know what a burden they were to her. Then, I was in tears at what they experienced as well as the hope and love they experienced with their grandparents and eventual spouses and their Father. This is a very moving fictional story, but uses events that still happen today. This is a great story of God’s ability to redeem His children, enable forgiveness and the His unconditional love.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457