This Bright River by Patrick Somerville

Ben Hanson is no stranger to mistakes. Recently released from prison, he understands that he made errors in both his personal and professional life. Now, free from confinement and with new sobriety, Ben wanders though life, searching for some kind of meaning. When his uncle Denny passes away, Ben's father, Jack, invites him to move back to his hometown to help settle his late uncle's estate.

Upon his arrival, Ben is flooded with memories of his past. He recalls the tragic death of his older cousin, Wayne, a tragedy that still haunts his family. As he begins to delve into his uncle's estate, fragments of the past come to light, all adding to the mystery of Wayne's demise.

In the same town, Lauren Sheehan is also trying to rebuild her life. Escaping from a violent ex-husband and abandoning her medical career, Lauren has returned to her hometown in search of a fresh start. In the small town, it is now surprise that the paths of Ben and Lauren intersect. Having no true past relationship, the two slowly become interested in each other. As time passes, their troubled lives become intertwined, creating a connection that they could have never imagined. Together, they kindle a romance and attempt to move on with their lives before their negative past catches up with them.

Going into this novel, I was unsure of what to expect. Normally, I try to steer clear of any "romance" novels, but this story offered much more. By slowly presents fragments of the two characters lives, mostly through flashback from each character's recollections, Somerville provides just enough information to keep the reader wanting more. Intricately imagined, the characters seem like genuine people who have had a rough go at life. Drawn with a sense of reality and empathy, it is easy to get behind Ben and Lauren and to truly care about them. While the writing is really great, I will admit that there were times when the change in time and narrator got a bit confusing. In certain moments Somerville slowed the pace of the plot, focussing more on character development that advancing the narrative. Fortunately, this attention to character made it impossible to stop reading. At times, this novel can be hard to digest. The themes of family drama, second chances, and suspenseful drama permeate this fascinating novel making it a completely engaging read.

For more information visit the author's website,

(week 36, book 40)

This entry was posted on Friday, September 7, 2012 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

12 Responses to “This Bright River by Patrick Somerville”

  1. i would love to win! i have gone to the amazon review and clicked yes

    tuckersaver at hotmail dot com

    thank you for the giveaway

  2. I've been to Amazon and clicked "yes" I'd love to win.

    damahurin at yahoo dot com

  3. Hey Ethan ,

    Nice review. Hope I win this time.

  4. Would like to win I said yes at the end of the review. Thankyou, Ken

    1. Thanks for your interest Ken! Be sure to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you if you do win.

  5. I indicated the review was helpful.


  6. Yes I clicked yes the review was helpful.

  7. I went and read your review of This Bright River at Amazon....and yes, it was helpful (which I clicked on). :) Sounds like a good book...yet another one to go on my "to read" list that just keeps getting longer. Wink. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  8. Hi Ethan,
    I went to Amazon, clicked yes it was helpful to your review, and remembered that I had read something by him before. It was "The Cradle" that he wrote back in Mar. 2009 and was a really good book so I'm sure this one is just as good! Thanks for this nice giveaway!

  9. Hi Ethan
    Pretty much done the steps required.
    Loved Patrick's first book and heard a bit of controversy about this new book so can't wait to read it!

  10. Congratulations to Jamie, Rachel, and Barb! They will each receive a copy of "This Bright River" by Patrick Somerville. Thanks to everyone who entered this contest and especially to the publisher for providing copies of this novel. Be sure to check back for more exciting giveaways.

  11. Due to a lack in response from winners and a deadline set by the publisher, I was forced to select 2 additional winners to replace 2 of people listed above. Congratulations to Sandra and Khairu.


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