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Two Rivers by T. Greenwood
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Two Rivers (edition 2009)

by T. Greenwood

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2981456,121 (3.88)16
Member:bgherman
Title:Two Rivers
Authors:T. Greenwood
Info:Kensington (2009), Paperback, 373 pages
Collections:Your library
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Two Rivers by T. Greenwood

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I'm not entirely sure what it was about this book that made me bring it home from the library...it's just not the kind of description that would typically draw me in. But wow. Wow.

Two Rivers has quickly become a new favorite. The story is broken into chapters that alternate between telling the story of Harper growing up in love with his neighbor Betsy from an early age, one night that changed everything, and his current life, up to the point where they all come together.
I'm always a sucker for a good twist, and this novel doesn't disappoint. Nothing is quite what you first imagined and each thing you assume to be fact is shattered in the end. There are no lies, just simple truths that lead your mind to believe things which are, in fact, false.
( )
  Sarahbel | Sep 1, 2017 |
Harper Montgomery is a man who is driven by grief, guilt and uncertainty. The girl he loved since he was 12 years old, the wife he had for less than a year, died on the day their daughter Shelley was born. Now, more than a decade later, Harper is raising Shelley on his own after finally leaving the welcoming nest of his late wife's, Betsy, aunt and uncle. His work at the Two Rivers, Vermont, train station freight office earns enough money for a small apartment above the local bowling alley. On a quiet fall afternoon the train bound for Montreal derails at the fork of the two rivers plunging several train cars into the cold murky water. Harper rushes to the river to help where he finds a pregnant teenaged black girl among the wreckage who pleads with him to help her. The girl, Maggie, says that her mother is dead and she has nowhere to go. Harper takes pity on the child and brings her home for a temporary stay until her family can be contacted. Maggie quickly makes herself at home by cooking, cleaning and befriending Shelley, but she is not forthcoming about her personal situation. As the days pass, Harper becomes convinced that their meeting was not happenstance and that Maggie has a secret agenda.
The story is told in alternating chapters of the present and Harper's past with Betsy. He loved her from the day they met and knew that he wanted her in his life for ever. There is a dark secret in Harper's past that is given to the reader in small snippets throughout the book and that, more than anything, made him willing to take Maggie into his home. The story takes place in the late 1950's through the early 80's and much of it revolves around civil rights and the Vietnam war. This was my era as well and even my part of the country; it is all well founded and familiar. The only reason I did not give the book 5 stars is that there is something that is just a little too coincidental to be believable. Greenwood can really write and I will most definitely read everything else by her that I can find. ( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Another winner and page-turner by T. Greenwood! Once again, this talented author knows how to tell a powerful, and beautifully written heartwarming story! Looking forward to reading her remaining three books which I have not read (each is as good as the previous one).

Two Rivers is a bittersweet story of a man living in Two Rivers, Vermont, who is suffering daily from guilt after his role in a brutal crime which still haunts him daily. His sins of the past threatens to destroy his present, as Harper seeks forgiveness to make amends for his involvement in the crime long ago.

After his wife, Betsy died twelve years earlier, Harper is raising his daughter, Shelly and working at the railroad, until one day a train derails, he has a chance at redeeming himself when he encounters, Maggie, a pregnant 15 yr old girl who needs his help.

Does the tragedy of losing Betsy justify Harper’s involvement in the scene at the river and the blackberry imagery? A very interesting take on motherhood of Mrs. Parker, Helen, and Betsy and how they embrace their role and are they victims of their time?

A master of combining past with present, the intense feelings and emotions will warm and engage fans of Greenwood for a highly moving love story of redemption, racial tension, loss, love, and forgiveness.

http://judithdcollins.booklikes.com/post/833950/tworivers
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
Ms. Greenwood paints a realistic picture of a man stuck in one place, trying to make sense of the grief and guilt around the death of his wife. I loved the way the story alternated between the love story of Betsy and Harper, and the present day in Harper's life. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Apr 13, 2013 |
A haunting story set in Two Rivers, Vermont that, like the rushing Connecticut River and the eponymous quiet town creek, is the convergence of the tales of two people whose lives couldn’t be more different from each other.

Who is the mysterious 15-year-old pregnant black girl named Maggie who survives a train derailment and insists that Harper Montgomery, a white widowed father of adolescent Shelly take care of her in exchange for her help in raising Shelly? Can Harper meet her and his own daughter’s needs, heal his long-time grief over the death of his wife Betsy, and redeem himself from the terrible guilt from his involvement in the murder of a black man twelve years ago? A murder during which he stood by and left the victim for dead in the same river from which Harper has plucked survivors of the train wreck.

Greenwood has written a delicately unfolding story about redemption and salvation that is distinctive and memorable and echoes "To Kill a Mockingbird" in life lessons and humanity. But there are drawbacks: Maybe too many large themes? Maybe too much emotional angst? Maybe symbolism a bit heavy-handed? Still -- worth it to try other books by this author. ( )
  Limelite | Dec 9, 2012 |
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Epigraph
All water has a perfect memory and is forever tyring to get back to where it was.--Toni Morrison
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For Patrick
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Blackberries. The man's sin reminds him of late summer blackberries.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758228775, Paperback)

In "Two Rivers", Vermont, Harper Montgomery is living a life overshadowed by grief and guilt. Since the death of his wife twelve years earlier, Harper has narrowed his world to working at the local railroad and raising his daughter, Shelly. Still wracked with sorrow over his loss and plagued by his role in a brutal, long-ago crime, he wants only to make amends for his past mistakes. Then one day, a train derails in Two Rivers and Harper finds a chance at atonement. One of the survivors, a pregnant fifteen-year-old girl, needs a place to stay, and Harper offers to take her in. But soon he suspects that Maggie's appearance is not the simple case of happenstance it first appeared to be.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:34 -0400)

"Harper Montgomery is living a life overshadowed by grief and guilt. Since the death of his wife twelve years earlier, Harper has narrowed his world to working at the local railroad and raising his daughter, Shelly. Still wracked with sorrow over his loss and plagued by his role in a brutal, long-ago crime, he wants only to make amends for his past mistakes. Then one day, a train derails in Two Rivers and Harper finds a chance at atonement. One of the survivors, a pregnant fifteen-year-old girl, needs a place to stay, and Harper offers to take her in. But soon he suspects that Maggie's appearance is not the simple case of happenstance it first appeared to be." -- BOOK JACKET… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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