Monday, October 04, 2010
The River Between Us
The River Between Us by Richard Peck
It's a story told by a young woman, Tilly, who lives near the North-South border during the Civil War. Her brother becomes a soldier. But it's really a story of another young woman, Delphine, who appears in town from New Orleans and becomes a boarder and then a friend. Delphine's backstory is somewhat mysterious, and she becomes a pivotal character by demonstrating the difficult and often contradictory positions of southerners during the war.
It took a while for me to get into the story. The first chapter is told 60 years later, by a grandson who is on his way to visit his grandparents, where he hears the story told. I was probably distracted, but the writing style (using a dialect and manner of speaking very different from the one in my head) was hard to follow. It wasn't until Delphine showed up that I was actually interested in the story. Then it held my interest for as long as it needed to, and I enjoyed the story. It's not a light story, but it focused more on the women's role in the war (worrying and nursing) than the men's. Delphine puts an interesting twist on the story, providing a perspective I hadn't seen before.