After River: A Novel by Donna Milner

By Donna Milner

Sooner than River, every thing used to be excellent. . . . transforming into up on a Canadian dairy farm below miles from the yankee border, fifteen-year-old Natalie Ward is aware little of the skin global. yet her loving, close-knit relatives is the envy of old and young alike within the within sight city of Atwood. Natalie adores her 3 brothers—especially Boyer, the eldest, whom she idolizes. yet every thing adjustments one sizzling July afternoon in 1966 while a long-haired stranger seems at their door—a soft-spoken American, a Vietnam struggle resister, who will try out the family's morals and ideology, and set in movement catastrophic occasions that might shatter Natalie's relationships with these she so much dearly loves.

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He asked. ”’ So Boyer began to bring his books home from school every night to practice teaching on Morgan and Carl on the wooden apple crates he hauled up to their shared bedroom. Not long after, when I was old enough to join Boyer’s makeshift classroom, Morgan and Carl started school and lost interest. I never did. Do all little girls think they will marry their older brothers when they grow up? I did. Up until I was six years old I assumed it was the natural order of things, that one day Boyer and I would be just like Mom and Dad.

Even though they were both a few years younger than my father, to me they often looked like bickering old men. ’ They were a strange sight, those two, hunkered over their chessboard in the park, or at the community centre, arguing theology and the other’s foolish play between moves. They were fierce competitors and not above a wager on their games. Every once in a while, Dr Mumford appeared at Sunday mass. He sat scowling, his arms folded over his chest, in a pew at the back of the church. He grudgingly endured Father Mac’s welcoming of their ‘guest to the fold’ at the end of the service.

Jenny says. ’ ‘Good,’ I say then hesitate. ’ she asks. The doctor’s voice is gone now, replaced by the whine of a daughter’s hurt feelings. ‘We have lots of room in our new house, Mom. ’ ‘I know, and I will. I will. ’ I know. I know exactly where her new house is. ‘Please. Please just understand for now, Jenny. I want to stay in town. ’ ‘All right,’ she says with resignation. ’ My empty stomach lurches. ’ Back in bed I am unable to sleep. I am tempted to get up and read to pass the night away.

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