Go as a River: A Novel

Set amid Colorado's wild beauty, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a resilient young woman whose life is changed forever by one chance encounter. A tragic and uplifting novel of love and loss, family and survival--and hope--for readers of Great Circle, The Four Winds, and Where the Crawdads Sing

"Shelley Read's lyrical voice is a force of nature.... Completely unforgettable." --Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry

"A splendid American Gothic tale of a young woman broken by circumstances who must find a way to forgive before she can love."--Adriana Trigiani, author of The Good Left Undone

Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family's peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado--the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses.

Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains where she struggles to survive in the wilderness with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland--its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.

Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home--where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river--gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when a river is dammed.

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321 pages

Average rating: 7.79




Community Reviews

Judy Mac
Jun 24, 2024
10/10 stars
Beautifully written.
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Apr 04, 2024
9/10 stars
Katie Coyne - 8.5 Kara - 8 Risa - 8.5💪🏻 Judi - 8 💪🏻 Sharon - 8 👇🏻 Rose - 8 💪🏻 Nan - 8 👇🏻 Tina - 7 👑 Adriana - 8 Lisa - 9 Katie C - 9 ✊🏻 Average 8.2
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Mar 23, 2024
9/10 stars
I really enjoyed this beautifully written book. It really caught my attention and I felt riveted and drawn to the characters.
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Mar 15, 2024
6/10 stars
Story held my attention but found the dialogue and voice of Victoria overwritten and heavy handed.
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Feb 29, 2024
8/10 stars
Such a tragic story of love and loss, set against the real events of loss of place in time. I learned so much about what goes on with man-made creation, as well as man-made destruction. Not only of the small town buried under the reservoir, but of the man-made prejudice that seems never to wane. My own mother’s birthplace was flooded out for a Texas lake. A fact by which I’ve always been fascinated, but also a bit saddened. This one will stick with me for a while. Very grateful for the chance at redemption and reunion at the end.
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