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Review of River House

March 17, 2011

River HouseRiver House by Sarahlee Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sarahlee Lawrence is a master storyteller. In her memoir, River House, she channels the frontier spirit of Willa Cather and recalls the high seas exploits of Jack London. Her story is both riveting and heart wrenching as she seeks to find herself, first by riding the white water of some of the world’s most deadly rivers and then amongst her family in the backbreaking work of building her home with her own hands in the harsh winter weather of Central Oregon. The hardships and hardscrabble living of farm life reminds this reader of the Joads of The Grapes of Wrath. Her family, especially her father, is the puzzle she tries to parse for clues to finding meaning in her life. It’s a literary page turner and we will hopefully hear much more from this bright, new voice.

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