My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First the disclaimer: Michael Farris Smith is my colleague in creative writing at Mississippi University for Women. Of course, I’m going to like his book! However, even I was surprised by it. Not that I would expect anything less than a good read, but Rivers is much more than a good read. Michael’s prose is a delight. His characters are fresh and at times haunting. He weaves back and forth in time to show us a dystopian future that is all too real juxtaposed with a much more normal and at times idyllic past. The combined effect is to heighten the drama in the present time of the narrative, since the normal world is never too far away from a world turned topsy turvy by endless hurricanes and tropical storms. Ultimately, the core of the book rests on the emotional choices the characters must make. It is a story of grief and loss, as well as a story of attempted new beginnings, of moving forward and looking back. It is a story that will pick you up with the first page and never let you drop until the last. Clear some time before you crack the cover. This is one book you won’t want to stop reading.