In “The River” by Michael Neale we meet Gabriel Clarke. When Gabriel was five years old he saw a tragic accident that changed his life forever. Every since that fateful day on the river he has been afraid to really live. As the years go by he is afraid to join in and have fun with his friends. When a teacher paints him a picture of a river he longs to be able to enjoy the beauty that the river holds. Slowly he is able to overcome his fears with the help of a friend. Then his life is changed forever when a former high school friend invites him on a camping trip to the river in the Colorado Rockies. Gabriel is taken to the very river that changed his life forever. While he is there and with the help of a girl named Tabitha, he sees the beauty of the river and learns to love it. Tabitha wants Gabriel to come back and learn to be a guide on the river. Gabriel loves working on the river but his world will soon be changed again. He soon comes face to face with the man the blames for taking the most important person away from him. Will Gabriel be able to forgive him and the river?
This was an amazing debut novel from Michael Neale. It immediately draws you in and tugs at your heart. We can all relate to Gabriel because we all have some fear we have to overcome and it teaches us how important forgiveness is. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson Publishers.