By the River by Jae Carvel is an historical novel. It takes place from 1870 and goes through to 1899. Sarah Ann and her husband, Cody Manwarring, along with their three children, are traveling by wagon train to Oregon. One day their wagon train is attacked by Indians and Cody disappears. They search for him, but they find no trace. Sarah Ann continues on with the wagon train and goes to Prairie City. When she stops at Marsh’s (a general store) she runs into Thomas Martin. Thomas lives with two other friends out on their ranch.
Thomas offers Sarah Ann the job of cook and housekeeper. Sarah Ann will have a place to stay and be able to take care of her three children: Lincoln, J.J., and Amy. Over time Sarah Ann and Thomas fall in love and get married.
The book goes to describe Sarah Ann's life as it unfolds over time. By the River describes the children she has with Thomas, building of a schoolhouse on their property, life on the ranch, and the apple orchard. We also get to see what happens to each child as they grow up and go out into the world.
Sarah Ann travels back to her hometown at one point to see her mother one last night. Her mother is ill and cannot make the trip to Oregon. Sarah Ann uncovers a secret that she takes to her grave.
By the River is an interesting book but I was not drawn into this novel (also it did not have an easy flow). I give By the River 3.75 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary novel from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you for reading my latest review. I hope you have a great evening and Happy Evening!
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