Time Is a River by Mary Alice Monroe

Monroe used to be a go-to author for me before book blogging imploded my TBR list. I was reminded of this fact last month as I finished reformatting posts from 2008 and 2009, several of which discussed books written by Monroe. Right then and there I decided to request another one of her books from PaperBackSwap for me to read.

In this book, readers are introduced to fly-fishing in North Carolina through the eyes of Mia Landan, a woman recovering from breast cancer and the recent discovery of her husband’s infidelity. Mia has decided to take refuge in a neglected cabin recently inherited by her fly-fishing instructor, Belle Carson, that used to be home to Belle’s infamous grandmother, Kate Watkins. A legendary fly-fisher in the 1920s, Kate watched her life fall apart after she was accused of murdering her lover, and the shadow of that accusation hangs over Belle and the small town her grandmother called home.

Personally, I prefer not to read books relating to cancer, particularly breast cancer. I would not have picked up this book had I known that so much of this would revolve had around breast cancer. I guess I need to pay more attention to the summaries written on PBS and book covers. In this case, my hand was forced due to the fact I packed only one other book for the long flight from home to school.

Overall, I liked the way the book handled breast cancer. The discussion managed to be poetic while still discussing the harsh realities of cancer. But it’s still a topic I’m never going to like reading about.

The mystery surrounding Kate was certainly interesting despite my own disinterest in fly-fishing. I did take issue with the idea that Mia’s decision to investigate into the difficult family history of a woman who’s charity she was living off of despite her clear and deliberate wishes for the issue to be left alone. It is even more unsettling that the peace Mia so desperately needed to find came from this disrespectful action.

Book Mentioned:

  • Monroe, Mary Alice. Time Is a River. New York: Pocket Books, 2009. Originally published 2008. Print. 512 pgs. ISBN: 9781439141779. Source: PaperBackSwap.
Book Cover © Pocket Books. Retrieved: August 18, 2012.

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