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Time Is A River    by Mary Alice Monroe order for
Time Is A River
by Mary Alice Monroe
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Mia Landan is heading to the mountains of North Carolina. Her friend, and fly fishing instructor, Belle Carson, has graciously offered her family fishing cabin to Mia for the summer. Leaving Charleston behind, Mia is anticipating time alone to recuperate from breast cancer and to re-think her marriage. She is still in shock from discovering her husband with another woman. Now she must face the thought of the future alone.

Once at the cabin, Mia knows she has work ahead of her to make it livable. It's covered in years of dust, with just the bare minimum of furniture, and no TV or radio. Soon she is second guessing her summer in this remote cabin on the river. Belle inherited the cabin, which once belonged to her grandmother Kate Watkin, a well known fly fisher and a journalist in the 1920s. Bitter about her family history, Belle warns Mia not to get involved in any local gossip about her grandmother. She has spent years trying to avoid gossip and speculation about her grandmother and mother.

Settling in to a daily routine, Mia works hard to convert the cabin to a cozy hideaway. She finds peace within herself in being so close to nature. She fishes the river and walks the forest, learning names of flowers and birds. While cleaning the cabin Mia discovers journals that once belonged to Kate. Reading them, Mia feels a strong connection to this smart, independent woman. Curious, Mia goes into town and begins research at the local library and newspaper office. The locals are only too willing to help Mia in her search and fill her in on details. Local rumour has it that Kate murdered her married lover in the cabin, but his body was never found. Forgetting her promise to Belle, Mia feels she is helping by putting a positive spin on Kate's experience as a fly fisher and her columns on the subject in the town paper.

After more research, Mia is convinced that Kate could never have murdered her lover. Mia recognized in Kate a strong, knowledgeable woman, who relied on no one but herself. Kate had lost the family fortune in the crash of 1929, and after the death of her lover became a recluse on the mountain. Slowly Mia unravels the truth about Kate. She feels that opening these old wounds will help Belle to understand the grandmother she never knew and be proud of her heritage. She wants Belle to know that her grandmother had hardships, fears, and betrayals in her life, just as women still do today. Mia finds solace in unwrapping the mystery around this family and bringing the truth to light. Time Is A River is a powerful, beautiful story that left me wanting more.

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