I just finished reading The River by author Michael Neale. His debut novel introduces readers to a young boy traumatized by the death of his father. Gabriel witnessed his dad’s heroic efforts in saving a man about to drown in the river. An experienced river guide, Gabriel’s dad sacrificed his life to save a relatively inexperienced kayaker paddling into dangerous waters. Watching in horror as his father died, Gabriel developed an unhealthy fear of water and a grudge for the man who precipitated his father’s death.
Years later, Gabriel struggles with the nightmares of his past and shows timidity in efforts to conquer the fears threatening to steal any hopes of leaving his sleepy little Kansas town. Gabriel’s grandfather, a new school teacher, and a childhood friend spark Gabriel’s interest in the River and eventually he faces his greatest fears head on.
Though the author never blatantly points people to Christ, he incorporates allegorical language to picture God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The River is a fast paced read and one worthy of curling up in a chair and reading from cover to cover.
I look forward to other publications from Mr. Neale.