book cover of The River Road
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The River Road

(2002)
A novel by

 
 
Karen Osborn, New York Times notable author of Patchwork, returns with a heartrending drama of love, family, friendship, and the long aftermath of tragedy.

Searing and unforgettable, The River Road explores the rippling effects of tragedy on the lives of two families. David and Michael Sanderson are brothers, inseparable since childhood from each other and from their neighbor, Kay Richards, who has become a complicated young woman involved in a passionate and obsessive love affair with David. One spring night, while at home on a break from college, the threesome embark on a night of adventure and experimentation, driving recklessly through the forested roads of the Connecticut Valley. Stopping at the French King Bridge, David -- full of youthful hubris and hallucinogens -- dares to jump off, mistakenly believing that he'll be able to swim ashore. With this senseless plunge into the frigid, swollen river he sets into motion an inexorable chain of events that indelibly alters the lives of everyone involved: Michael, who watched from the car; Kay, who stood next to him and helped him climb onto the rail; and both sets of stunned parents who receive phone calls on that March night.

Told through the alternating voices of Kay, Michael, and David's father, Kevin, The River Road is a suspenseful narrative of the accusations, murder investigation, and tense courtroom battle that follows. Closely observed and psychologically penetrating, it brilliantly captures the individual anguish that is suffered in the wake of a life-shattering event, while also giving testament to the ways of survival and the endurance of love.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"With grace and poetry, Osborn explores how the biggest emotions are sometimes found in the smallest seconds - and how a single moment might be the switchback that changes our lives." - Jodi Picoult


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