I always enjoy books by Melody Carlson and am constantly amazed by her versatility and the sheer volume of her work. “River’s Call” and the preceding book of The Inn at Shining Waters series “River’s Song” were a bit different from the other Carlson novels I’ve read. Set in the late fifties and the sixties with a remote setting free of many modern distractions, both novels have a laid back nostalgic feel to them that appealed to me.

Despite the difference in setting, “River’s Call” did not lack in human conflict and interaction. I am glad that I had already read “River’s Song” because it contains the background information that helped me to understand some of the reasons that certain characters related to each other and/or acted the way they did. I really liked both Anna and Clark as well as Clark’s mother but heartily disliked both Anna’s daughter Lauren and her paternal grandmother Eunice. Lauren was a spoiled and lazy young woman who was interested in nothing but herself and Eunice was a bitter old woman whose manipulation and control contributed to Lauren’s problems. Her interference when Lauren found herself unmarried and pregnant created all kinds of problems.

I have found that Carlson’s novels are usually filled with wisdom and life lessons that are a direct result of faith in God. The message was not as prominent at first in “River’s Call” but it emerged strongly before the end with an excellent example of forgiveness and reconciliation.

I was sorry to find that some loose ends were left hanging but that just makes me eager to read the final installment of the series “River’s End”. I can’t wait for it’s release.

This book was provided for review by Glass Road Public Relations.


What happens when the ties between generations are severed?

It is the 1960s and Anna’s daughter, Lauren, is confused, broken-hearted, and pregnant. The difficult situation seems to bring out the worst in the selfish girl. When Lauren chooses to stay with her manipulative Grandma Eunice, Anna worries her daughter will never become a mature adult and the relationship between Lauren, Anna and Eunice becomes even more strained. However, when she hits the lowest point in her life, Lauren returns to her mother, the river, and the Inn and Shining Waters. As time passes, Lauren, now a mother to her own defiant teenager, faces a new crisis, one that puts the entire family at risk.


Melody Carlson published her first book in 1995 and she has been writing prolifically ever since. To date, Melody has published over 200 books, making her one of the top 20 most prolific authors of all time. With total sales of over 5 million her award-winning books include: Homeward, Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon; Limelight; the Diary of a Teenage Girl series; the True Colors series; and the Carter House Girls series.

In her professional life, Melody has worn many hats: from pre-school teacher to political activist to senior editor. Currently, she writes full-time, and freelances from her home. She has two grown sons and lives in Sisters, Oregon with her husband, Chris, and Audrey, her yellow lab. They enjoy skiing, hiking, and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.