Aug 2, 2012

The River Witch by Kimberly Brock

Can the river heal her?

Roslyn Byrne is twenty-four years old, broken in body, heart and soul. Her career as a professional ballet dancer ended with a car wreck and a miscarriage, leaving her lost and grieving. She needs a new path, but she doesn’t have the least idea how or where to start. With some shoving from her very Southern mama, she immures herself for the summer on Manny’s Island, Georgia, one of the Sea Isles, to recover.

There Roslyn finds a ten-year-old girl, Damascus, who brings alligators, pumpkins and hoodoo into her sorry life.

Roslyn rents a house from Damascus’s family, the Trezevants, a strange bunch. One of the cousins, Nonnie, who works in the family’s market, sees things Roslyn is pretty sure she shouldn’t, and knows things regular people don’t. Between the Trezevant secrets and Damascus’s blatant snooping and meddling, Roslyn finds herself caught in a mysterious stew of the past and present, the music of the river, the dead and the dying who haunt the riverbank, and a passion for living her new life.

Kimberly Brock is a native Southerner, a former actor and special needs educator. Her work has appeared in anthologies and magazines. She lives with her husband and three children north of Atlanta, Georgia. The River Witch is her first novel. Visit her at

When I first heard about The River Witch, maybe I was a bit skeptical.  It might have been the title that threw me off. However, I was totally wrong. After reading several reviews on this debut novel by Kimberly Brock, my curiosity was piqued and I am so glad I read this one!

Roslyn has experienced huge disappointments, and she wasn't coping very well. Her career as a ballet dancer has ended due to a traffic accident, and then her pregnancy tragically ended as well. She arrives at the remote island for an extended holiday, hoping to find some healing for her body and her heart, and maybe even some hope for a future.

The people on the island have secrets of their own, and Roslyn was immediately immersed into the family drama. Soon her own problems take a back burner as she tries to help young Damascus and her family.

Sometimes when we look around us, our own problems don't seem so bad after all. Roslyn discovered a lot about herself and her capacity to love. The strange family that came into her life over the summer helped her to face things she didn't want to talk about, and she was able to do the same for them.

The River Witch would be a great choice for book club discussion, as many of the characters in this book have unresolved issues hidden beneath the surface. This is a fascinating story of the power of forgiveness, healing and renewal, and an inspiring look at the what happens when a person gives love a chance.

Disclosure: Ebook received courtesy of the author and in exchange for my honest review.

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