Donna Milner After River: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780061462993

After River: A Novel

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9780061462993: After River: A Novel

He will change their lives forever. . . .

At fifteen, Natalie Ward believes her life is perfect. Growing up on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia less than two miles from the American border, she knows little of the outside world. But she knows family. A family so close and loving that they are the envy of the nearby town of Atwood. Friends and neighbors, young and old alike, show up regularly on their farmhouse porch—all willing to share in the never-ending daily chores in exchange for a place at the Ward family table. Natalie cherishes her position as the only daughter of the beautiful Nettie Ward—the pride of the Catholic Ladies Auxiliary—and the town's milkman, Gus Ward—the darling of Atwood housewives. She adores her three brothers, especially the eldest, Boyer, whom she idolizes with a childlike worship. Like her mother, Natalie believes their lives are blessed, as rich and as sweet as the fresh milk that is their livelihood.

Everything changes one hot July afternoon in 1966 when a long-haired stranger walks up the winding dirt road to their door. The arrival of this soft-spoken American, a Vietnam War resister, will test the morals and beliefs of the Ward family and their close-knit community. The catastrophic events that are set in motion will leave relationships shattered and Natalie separated from the family she loves in ways that she could never have imagined.

Thirty-five years later, Natalie receives a late-night phone call from her now-estranged brother Boyer. Their mother is dying. Torn between the love of her mother and the fear of the past, Natalie returns to the town she has spent her entire adult life avoiding. As she travels back to her childhood home she steels herself against the bittersweet memories of that summer day in 1966 and the tragedy that followed. But before Natalie can find redemption, she must confront the secrets and horrors of a past she has desperately tried to forget.

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Product Description:

'She was expecting him. She wasn't expecting the heartache that would follow like a cold wind.' Growing up on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia in the 1960s, three kilometres north of the American border, Natalie Ward knew little of the outside world. But she had her family. A family so close and loving that Natalie believed they were the envy of the nearby town of Atwood - particularly her eldest brother Boyer, whom Natalie held especially close to her heart. But Natalie began to question her family's idyllic existence the summer she turned fifteen. The arrival of a soft-spoken stranger, an American draft-dodger called River, would test the morals and beliefs of the family and the community to breaking point. The series of events following that summer day would leave relationships shattered and the Ward family changed forever.

About the Author:

Donna Milner lives in British Columbia with her husband. After River was her first novel. She is also the author of The Promise of Rain.

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