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Time Is a River


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About the Author

Mary Alice Monroe
is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including Sweetgrass, Skyward, The Beach House, The Four Seasons, and The Book Club. She is an active conservationist and lives in the low country of South Carolina.


Monroe delivers another novel of strong Southern women, and though this one has its share of weak moments, the author's love for her characters is palpable throughout. Mia Landan, a cancer survivor, returns to Charleston after a fly-fishing retreat and finds her husband in bed with another woman. Shocked, Mia rushes back to the mountains where she'd been fishing and seeks the help of fly fisherman Belle Carson, who offers her the use of a ramshackle cabin for the summer. Upon Mia's first trip into town, she learns why the cabin looks like it hasn't been opened in years--it's where Kate Watkins, Belle's grandmother, allegedly murdered her lover. But after Mia conveniently finds Kate's diary tucked away in the cabin, she becomes determined to get to the bottom of things, despite Belle's warnings not to stir up the mud. Through a series of occasionally contrived diary entries, flashbacks and folksy recollections from locals, the narrative juxtaposes Kate's story with Mia's self-discovery, and while the predictable ending results from implausibly convenient plot twists, Monroe's fans will still enjoy the author's spin on love, mystery and the power of self-determination. (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

After losing her job and her self-confidence, Mia Landan, a thirtysomething breast cancer survivor from Charleston, SC, finds her way to Casting for Recovery, a North Carolina-based organization run by fishing guide Belle Carson. Mia also loses her husband when she finds him casting about with another woman, and she seeks refuge in Belle's old family cabin. Along with the rigors of breast cancer treatment, readers learn about the ancient art of fly-fishing and how its principles can help replenish the soul and bring nature and a person's place in it into relief. Mia's time in the cabin makes her look at her damaged body as a symbol of her self-worth, not merely as a sign of weakness and failure. She even manages to flirt and eventually find love with a fellow fly-fisher. But this latest title from Monroe (Swimming Lessons) is also a mystery, as Mia tries to piece together the life of Kate Watkins, Belle's late grandmother and a well-known fly-fisher, who lived in the cabin many years before. The truth is unearthed by Mia and a group of strong local women who decide that men need not have the last word, even when the conversation is about fishing. This fascinating, nicely wrought novel will be popular in public libraries even where readers don't know a brook trout from a can of sardines. Highly recommended.--Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"[An] exquisite, many-layered novel." -- "Booklist"

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