Review by kdstrack -- American River: Tributaries

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kdstrack
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Review by kdstrack -- American River: Tributaries

Post by kdstrack » 31 Jan 2018, 21:30

[Following is a volunteer review of "American River: Tributaries" by Mallory M. O'Connor.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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American River:Tributaries by Mallory M. O’Connor tells the story of three immigrant families who came to America in the 1800’s. This book is offered as the first of a trilogy that will follow the lives and experiences of these three families.

The book opens with a brief history of the first generation of immigrants. The story quickly advances to the 1960’s and the second generation of each family. The McPhalan family is of Irish descent and settles in California. This family has many troubles. Marian, leaves her husband, Owen, and moves to Boston. Alex, the youngest daughter, accompanies her to study music. Kate falls in love with the hired hand’s son. Julian is gay and goes down the wormhole of prostitution and drugs.

The second family is Japanese-American. We hear some historical information about this family’s experiences in the Japanese internment camps during the war. Their son, Tommy, was born in this camp. He is Kate McPhalan’s boyfriend.

The Morales family is of Mexican descent. Jorge and Rosita have three children, Carl, Silvio and Ali. Carl has musical talents and becomes quite well-known as a symphony conductor.

As the story unfolds, we see how the lives of these three families intertwine. Several of the characters are musically talented. This allows the reader to recall many songs of the time period. The story is told in the third person giving the reader access to the character’s feelings and motives for their actions. The setting changes from the west coast, mainly California, to Boston on the east coast.

I chose this book because it was listed as historical fiction. There are some historical references at the beginning when the author is describing the first generation of immigrants. From there, the story quickly degenerates into the sexual escapades of the characters. Marian, Julian, and Carl engage in relationships that would have been considered socially scandalous for the time period. A large portion of the book is dedicated to these affairs. Events that were of great importance to our nation in this time period are not mentioned. The Bay of Pigs, lunar exploration, and the assassination of a president are not referenced!

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The story line is interesting and the reader is immersed into the lives of the characters. The conversations are well done. However, I felt deceived about the listed genre of this book. The historical facts in the beginning chapters were promising but then dropped off. I would consider this to be a fictional/romance book. The text also needs further editing. People who enjoy stories that follow families through different generations will enjoy this book.

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American River: Tributaries
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SPasciuti
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Post by SPasciuti » 09 Feb 2018, 17:46

That's really a shame about the lack of history in the book. I feel like this is a case where the author probably should have done more research or written it in a different genre. Though I imagine it is a beneficial read as far as immigration is concerned. Thanks for writing a review!

kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 09 Feb 2018, 19:41

SPasciuti wrote: ↑
09 Feb 2018, 17:46
That's really a shame about the lack of history in the book. I feel like this is a case where the author probably should have done more research or written it in a different genre. Though I imagine it is a beneficial read as far as immigration is concerned. Thanks for writing a review!
This is also a very good romance. But I was looking forward to a work of historical fiction, so that was the part that let me down. If you like family sagas you will enjoy this book.

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nfdaniel85
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Post by nfdaniel85 » 13 Feb 2018, 11:57

This seems like a book I would read. I'm glad you clarify that this is not actually historical fiction; that would have let me down as well. It seems as though it touches on some heavy topics, and would be an interesting tale.

kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 13 Feb 2018, 12:48

nfdaniel85 wrote: ↑
13 Feb 2018, 11:57
This seems like a book I would read. I'm glad you clarify that this is not actually historical fiction; that would have let me down as well. It seems as though it touches on some heavy topics, and would be an interesting tale.
The story itself is intriguing - just not what I was expecting!

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 14 Feb 2018, 10:52

I like this twisting stories of three families. I hope, the author can get the rating of four after adding proper chronology of events. Thanks for this insightful review.
Make your ideals high enough to inspire you and low enough to encourage you.

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Post by Jmteachmom » 17 Feb 2018, 09:46

Thank you for your kind words. This review was hard because of no defined plot or setting. It was a great tale and actually I am ready to read book two in the trilogy. I guess the author has sucked me in!

kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 17 Feb 2018, 10:30

Sarah Tariq wrote: ↑
14 Feb 2018, 10:52
I like this twisting stories of three families. I hope, the author can get the rating of four after adding proper chronology of events. Thanks for this insightful review.
I actually liked the story, but was hoping for more historical facts and setting. Defining it as historical fiction just put "a bee in my bonnet"!

kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 17 Feb 2018, 10:34

Jmteachmom wrote: ↑
17 Feb 2018, 09:46
Thank you for your kind words. This review was hard because of no defined plot or setting. It was a great tale and actually I am ready to read book two in the trilogy. I guess the author has sucked me in!
That's what great writers do! Read on, friend, read on!!

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