book cover of Go as a River
Added by 39 members

Go as a River

A novel by

NATIONAL BESTSELLER  * Finalist for Goodreads Choice Award * Colorado Public Radio 2023 Books We Love * Set amid Colorado’s wild beauty, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a resilient young woman whose life is changed forever by one chance encounter. A tragic and uplifting novel of love and loss, family and survival—and hope—for readers of Great Circle, The Four Winds, and Where the Crawdads Sing. “Beautiful . . . A striking first novel of love and strength and growth, set against the forests and rivers of Colorado’s high country. Read is a gifted writer, and the book is a literary triumph.���—Denver Post  “With gorgeous descriptions of the great outdoors, an illicit love story, and an unforgettable protagonist, Go as a River offers something for everyone.”—Real Simple Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses. Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains where she struggles to survive in the wilderness with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland—its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.  Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home—where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river—gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when a river is dammed.

Genre: General Fiction

Praise for this book

"Shelley Read's devastatingly beautiful debut, Go as a River, delivers so very much: the tenderness and curiosity of young love, the eternal pangs of loss, the brutality of racism, the sustaining power of nature even in the face of man's destruction, and the precarious miracle of a mother's love. Suffused with wisdom and compassion, this shattering testimony to life is one to be savored, treasured, shared." - Meg Waite Clayton

"A compelling tale of love blighted by bigotry, and a dauntless heroine fighting back against insuperable odds. She had me racing to bed so I could read another chapter." - Patrick Gale

"Shelley Read's lyrical voice is a force of nature, and when she lends it to a woman leading a hardscrabble life in rural Colorado, the result is tragic, uplifting - and completely unforgettable." - Bonnie Garmus

"Completely spellbinding, vivid, and luminous." - Jane Green

"Shelley Read has written a splendid American Gothic tale of a young woman broken by circumstances who must find a way to forgive before she can love. Victoria Nash is a character for the ages as she navigates loss and despair on the road to redemption. The vast plains and desert canyons of her Colorado home are filled with ghosts until a mysterious drifter arrives and changes the course of her life forever. Go as a River is a stunning debut set in the soul of the American dream." - Adriana Trigiani

"In Go as a River, Shelley Read delivers a heartbreaking and uplifting tale of a girl becoming a woman in a man's world. Young Victoria Nash is as tough and resilient as the Colorado mountains where she takes refuge, and as tender as the peaches that are her family legacy. Book clubs will love this redemptive story." - Tiffany Quay Tyson

Visitors also looked at these books

Used availability for Shelley Read's Go as a River

About Fantastic Fiction       Information for Authors