Tuesday, August 08, 2006

River Boy, by Tim Bowler, 1997

Jess's grandfather is dying, but determined not to until he returns to his childhood home and finishes one last painting, one he's inexplicably titled "River Boy." Jess, her parents, and Grampa return to the river where he once lived, where Jess encounters a mysterious boy swimmer. Magical realism with a supernatural twist, the story and the language are at times lovely and poignant, but overall, a heavyhanded text that distrusts its readers, emotionally manipulating them with excessive description and sentimentality.

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