The River Between Us

February 16, 2008

Historical Fiction
By Richard Peck
Reviewed by Samantha Darpino
5 out of 5 Stars

Experience life during in 1861 in Richard Peck’s, The River Between Us, where a young boy discovers his father’s past, but then the book switches gears to tell the story he is hearing, as if it were happening right then. Tilly Pruitt and her family are in for an unpredictable and life-changing year, When Delphine Duval and her “silent-servant” Calinda descended the gangplank into Grand Tower, Illinois. Grand tower, a muddy little Mississippi River town, gets turned upside down when the two unordinary exquisite creatures enter the uneventful port city. With the threat of civil war, the entire country is on edge. 15 year old Tilly, is worried about her twin brother Noah running off to ”soldier” for the North. But, when Noah’s mother invites the misplaced humans to stay with them he is enticed to remain in Grand Tower a little longer. When Noah and Tilly’s 16th Birthday roles around the family is no longer able to subdue the eager Noah and like the rest, “He went…in the night to spare [them] good-byes.” Will Noah return to Tilly and her family, or will the war claim him like it did so many others?

At first this book is confusing and you are unable to follow it. The plot takes a sudden turn and is slightly complicating it, but is a fantastic read when you finally finish and tie the two parts, which seem unrelated, together. The book addresses racial issues as well as describes life during war time. As I read this book I felt connected and drawn to the storyline.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and is between the age of 12 and 15. Also, if you enjoy the ”Dear America” series” you would most likely enjoy this book. Richard Peck uses flashback and historical relevance to enrich his writing and bring it to the next level. This tale is a quick 164 pager, which is filled with countless riches. I would recommend this book to anyone who is eager for something new and old in one. Combining the two different centuries gives the book an edge, and allows the story to hold your attention until the very last page.

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