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The River Wife by Jonis Agee
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The River Wife (2007)

by Jonis Agee

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3463031,609 (3.37)34

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Enjoyed listening to this book on CD. It interwove multiple generations. However she has a one armed man holding a lantern and a woman's hand. He puts down the lantern then lets go of her hand. How does that work? Also Clement doesn't know what Heddie was talking about when she says they were looking for Jacques' treasure. However I thought I remembered them fantasizing what they would do with it when they found it earlier in the story.

The ending was melancholy, which fit well I thought. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 11, 2017 |
Really a 3.5. Amazing writing but definitely hard to follow sometimes. ( )
  pickleroad | Nov 10, 2016 |
I started out liking this book, but halfway in, I couldn't wait to be done with it. A modern-day bride finds a series of notebooks in the family home and reads the story of Annie Lark, a young girl who became trapped by a felled beam during an earthquake. Her fearful family leave her to die on her own, but she is rescued by Jacques Ducharmes, a French fur trader, and Annie lives with him as his wife. Jacques begins to play out his dream of building a hotel to serve passersby on the Mississippi. All of which is interesting enough, but then I hit a series of grisly scenes of animal abuse, stabbings, and a baby ripped open by dogs, Ugh. And this pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book, which follows the Ducharmes women through the decades. Each one is married to a violent man with criminal dealings. Plus the story keeps jumping back and forth through time and family additions (half brothers, slave mistresses, etc.). Maybe if I hadn't been so bored and disgusted, I wouldn't have had such a hard time keeping track of who was whom and how they were all related. But the bottom line is that I hated them all and really didn't care. Not to mention that Agee throws in a bit of mumbo jumbo as Jacques supposedly has made a pact with the devil and barely ages. It has been a long time since I was this glad to have finished a book. ( )
  Cariola | Apr 6, 2016 |
I agree with a previous reviewer - Annie Lark and Jacques were great and strong characters. The last third of the book was uninteresting for me and I just became bored and stopped reading it. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
I agree with a previous reviewer - Annie Lark and Jacques were great and strong characters. The last third of the book was uninteresting for me and I just became bored and stopped reading it. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"There is no evil angel but Love." Love's Labour's Lost
Dedication
For Brent Spencer
First words
The trees were so vertical - that's the first thing I noticed, even before the river.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081297719X, Paperback)

From acclaimed novelist Jonis Agee, whom The New York Times Book Review called “a gifted poet of that dark lushness in the heart of the American landscape,” The River Wife is a sweeping, panoramic story that ranges from the New Madrid earthquake of 1811 through the Civil War to the bootlegging days of the 1930s.

When the earthquake brings Annie Lark’s Missouri house down on top of her, she finds herself pinned under the massive roof beam, facing certain death. Rescued by French fur trapper Jacques Ducharme, Annie learns to love the strong, brooding man and resolves to live out her days as his “River Wife.”

More than a century later, in 1930, Hedie Rails comes to Jacques’ Landing to marry Clement Ducharme, a direct descendant of the fur trapper and river pirate, and the young couple begin their life together in the very house Jacques built for Annie so long ago. When, night after late night, mysterious phone calls take Clement from their home, a pregnant Hedie finds comfort in Annie’s leather-bound journals. But as she reads of the sinister dealings and horrendous misunderstandings that spelled out tragedy for the rescued bride, Hedie fears that her own life is paralleling Annie’s, and that history is repeating itself with Jacques’ kin.

Among the family’s papers, Hedie encounters three other strong-willed women who helped shape Jacques Ducharme’s life–Omah, the freed slave who took her place beside him as a river raider; his second wife, Laura, who loved money more than the man she married; and Laura and Jacques’ daughter, Maddie, a fiery beauty with a nearly uncontrollable appetite for love. Their stories, together with Annie’s, weave a haunting tale of this mysterious, seductive, and ultimately dangerous man, a man whose hand stretched over generations of women at a bend in the river where fate and desire collide.

The River Wife
richly evokes the nineteenth-century South at a time when lives changed with the turn of a card or the flash of a knife. Jonis Agee vividly portrays a lineage of love and heartbreak, passion and deceit, as each river wife comes to discover that blind devotion cannot keep the truth at bay, nor the past from haunting the present.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"When the earthquake brings Annie Lark's Missouri house down on top of her, she finds herself pinned under the massive roof beam, facing certain death. Rescued by French fur trapper Jacques Ducharme, Annie learns to love the strong, brooding man and resolves to live out her days as his "River Wife."" "More than a century later, in 1930, Hedie Rails comes to Jacques' Landing to marry Clement Ducharme, a direct descendant of the fur trapper and river pirate, and the young couple begin their life together in the very house Jacques built for Annie so long ago. When, night after late night, mysterious phone calls take Clement from their home, a pregnant Hedie finds comfort in Annie's leather-bound journals. But as she reads of the sinister dealings and horrendous misunderstandings that spelled out tragedy for the rescued bride, Hedie fears that her own life is paralleling Annie's, and that history is repeating itself with Jacques' kin." "Among the family's papers, Hedie encounters three other strong-willed women who helped shape Jacques Ducharme's life - Omah, the freed slave who took her place beside him as a river raider; his second wife, Laura, who loved money more than the man she married; and Laura and Jacques' daughter, Maddie, a fiery beauty with a nearly uncontrollable appetite for love. Their stories, together with Annie's, weave a haunting tale of this mysterious, seductive, and ultimately dangerous man, a man whose hand stretched over generations of women at a bend in the river where fate and desire collide."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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