By Melody Carlson
Published by Abingdon Press
Back Cover: In the final story of The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna Larson's granddaughter Sarah is beginning to find her independence. But her relationship with her parents suffers as a result and she travels away from all that is familiar.
While the solace of the river calls Sarah back, surprises await upon her return. Three generations of family heartbreak and disappointments converge at Shining Waters as Sarah finds God right in the center of it all.
REVIEW: I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that puts the final touches to life for Anna and Clark at the Inn at Shinning Waters. Again American history is interwoven into the story line. This time it’s the 70’s and Anna’s granddaughter Sarah has been missing for two years. Lauren, Anna and Clark have been searching for her with now leads. This leaves an ache in all their hearts. They need to work together to find proof she’s still alive.
I like that the author has let each book in this series focus on one woman and her trials in the maternal like of the Larson family all told through Anna’s perspective in first person. The River’s Song, book one was Anna’s story as she sought to find peace, healing and meaning to life. She and the reader learned much of her Indian heritage.
In book Two River’s Call focuses on Lauren and the predicament she finds herself in. Eunice tries to entangle Anna and Lauren in her web of deception and control. Ann has the courage to follow her the dream God has given her. She also had the courage to forgive and stay the course no matter how hard the storms of life hit her. She will not be abused by Eunice or her daughter at the same time she looked for opportunities to love them both. It was difficult.
In book Three River’s End, Anna, Clark and Lauren are working together to find any clues to Sarah’s whereabouts and they learn to work together as they serve the guests at the Inn at Shinning Waters. The thing that would make this a great situation for Anna would be if Sarah were in the fold. As time goes on Anna feels that she is losing her grip on the main focus of The Inn; which was to bring healing and peace to those that stayed there.
This author weaves in some pretty serious things that happened in the 70’s and has her characters be affected by the events. The theme of forgiveness and healing are natural threads throughout this novel and series. The Siuslaw woman – the Larson women have learned to adjust to the changes life brings them. But through this story the River remains constant. Anna realizes, “Everyone has to decide their own path in life.” No one can live your life for you.
I like how this author shows regular people facing challenges and problems the best they can. In all three of these books the authors talks about relationships. They take time, prayer, work and all need to be clothed in forgiveness. The time and effort they put into their relationships would pay off in the long run. They had to be patient with themselves and each other. This book could be read as a stand-alone but I highly recommend reading books one and two in this series as it makes this read all the more richer and a more memorable experience. I highly recommend this book as a book club pick and just plain fun. It’s a series that you won’t soon forget and one that will stay in your heart long after you read the last book.
Nora St. Laurent
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