As If I Were A River is a debut novel from Amanda Saint and one I found compelling to say the least. Each chapter is told from three woman’s perspectives, all three generations have their own story to tell, which all come together to form a thought provoking tale. Life changes for Kate when her husband Jimmy goes missing, as Kate struggles to cope with his disappearance, she also finds herself facing unresolved abandonment issues, as her mum left her when she was just a child and she never knew why. To face her future Kate first has to find out the secrets that surround her mothers sudden disappearance, and these secrets are drip fed to the reader chapter by chapter.
Through the first half of As If I were A River I didn’t particularly feel any emotion for Kate’s character, as I found her difficult to like, she appeared weak and self indulgent spending much of her time drunk or stoned. Although as the reader learns more about past events in Kate’s life it was easy to imagine why she would take this path, rather than deal with her problems head on. Interestingly all three generations of women appear weak when faced with difficult life choices, and you can’t help wondering what would have happened if they made different choices, as the consequences of their actions are shown to affect the next generation. As the story progressed my feelings towards Kate changed and I began to feel real empathy for her, as her life spiralled out of control.
If you are looking for a fast paced book then As If I Were A River may not be for you, as this is one of those books that slowly but surely presents the reader with the threads of a story and then brings them all together to form a fascinating read about families, deception and the way our lives can be shaped by past events. Amanda Saint has written a compelling book, and although the ending was very predictable it did keep me intrigued to the last page.
4☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Urbane Publications (11 April 2016)