Official Review: American River: Currents

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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kimmyschemy06
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Latest Review: American River: Currents by Mallory M. O'Connor

Official Review: American River: Currents

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 08 Aug 2018, 05:19

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "American River: Currents" by Mallory M. O'Connor.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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American River: Currents is the poignant and unforgettable second book in the American River Trilogy created by Mallory M. O’Connor featuring the McPhalan, the Ashida and the Morales clans.

The story begins in January 1963, a week after the death of Julian McPhalan. As the dead ceases to exist, the living go on with their lives. Marian Archer McPhalan moves to New York and meets a young sculptor. Alex gets to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the enigmatic classical piano superstar Maestro Stefan Molnar. Kate pursues a master’s degree when she and her husband Carl move to Cleveland. Carl’s father Jorge Morales supports La Causa, the farm workers’ cause, his wife Rose joins an anti-war group Another Mother for peace (AMP), while his son Silvio registers for the draft and his daughter Allison goes to Kent State.

Meanwhile, Tommy Ashida, oblivious of his mother’s debilitating disease back home in Stockton, California, is selected for the International Studies Program in Architecture at the University of Kyoto in Japan and meets a delicately beautiful girl.

As the members of the three clans find their way through the 60s, their lives are struck by tragedy after tragedy leaving them with deep emotional scars.

Told in the third person perspective, this is a moving and memorable book about family, friendship, passion, prejudice, secrets, betrayal and obsession among others. The author successfully depicts the events of the 1960s that reading the book feels more like traveling back in time of the John Kennedy assassination, the women’s liberation, the Robert Kennedy presidential campaign, the Vietnam War protests and the Kent State Massacre.

In addition to detailed descriptions of historical events, the author creates a set of well-developed and relatable characters as she highlights not only their strengths, talents and skills but also their flaws, pains and regrets making them just as human as the readers. Among several admirable characters, my favorite is Kate. She is smart, strong and independent with extraordinary self-control and exemplary moral values. Though she is far from saintly, she tries to do what is right not for herself but for the people she loves.

While the best part of the book, for me, is the very realistic depiction of life as the characters celebrate their triumphs and grieve for their losses, what I like most is the display of women empowerment as exhibited by Marian with her art, Alex with her music, Kate with her education, and Rose and Allison with their involvement.

Needless to say, I enjoyed this book a lot. However, there are several noticeable errors, mostly typos, within the entire book (like I glad he left it to you and I not surprised). If not for those, I could have easily given this book a perfect score.

I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is moving and memorable and I recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction. However, though I enjoyed reading it as a standalone, I still recommend that the series is read in proper order.

******
American River: Currents
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stbrians
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Post by stbrians » 09 Aug 2018, 00:24

These books which go back it time really brings fond memories of the past. Well put my friend

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Post by stacie k » 09 Aug 2018, 00:25

It would be interesting to learn about the historical events of the 60’s through this book, especially if it feels like you are traveling back in time. The realistic characters would be a bonus as well. Thanks for a great review!
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Post by Rosemary Khathibe » 09 Aug 2018, 01:05

I'm not a fan of historical fiction but through your intriguing review, I find the story interesting. Thanks.

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Post by kandscreeley » 09 Aug 2018, 08:07

It's too bad that the typos were so plentiful. This one sounds very character-driven and poignant. I appreciate your review, but I just don't think it's one that I'd enjoy very much. Thanks!
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Post by nella77 » 09 Aug 2018, 12:33

I like your review just reading it made me wants to read the book, thank you. :tiphat:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 09 Aug 2018, 14:11

I can tell you really connected with the book. The kind of well-developed characters you described make all the difference. Thanks for the interesting review!

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Latest Review: American River: Currents by Mallory M. O'Connor

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 09 Aug 2018, 20:43

stbrians wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 00:24
These books which go back it time really brings fond memories of the past. Well put my friend
Thank you. It's an enjoyable book.

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kimmyschemy06
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Latest Review: American River: Currents by Mallory M. O'Connor

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 09 Aug 2018, 20:44

stacie k wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 00:25
It would be interesting to learn about the historical events of the 60’s through this book, especially if it feels like you are traveling back in time. The realistic characters would be a bonus as well. Thanks for a great review!
You're welcome. I enjoyed this book a lot.

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kimmyschemy06
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Latest Review: American River: Currents by Mallory M. O'Connor

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 09 Aug 2018, 20:46

Rosemary Khathibe wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 01:05
I'm not a fan of historical fiction but through your intriguing review, I find the story interesting. Thanks.
You're welcome. Some historical fiction can be tiring especially those that are too heavy on historical details. Fortunately, this one is just right.

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kimmyschemy06
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Latest Review: American River: Currents by Mallory M. O'Connor

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 09 Aug 2018, 20:47

kandscreeley wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 08:07
It's too bad that the typos were so plentiful. This one sounds very character-driven and poignant. I appreciate your review, but I just don't think it's one that I'd enjoy very much. Thanks!
Thank you! Luckily, typos can be easily fixed these days :)

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kimmyschemy06
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Latest Review: American River: Currents by Mallory M. O'Connor

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 09 Aug 2018, 20:48

Cecilia_L wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 14:11
I can tell you really connected with the book. The kind of well-developed characters you described make all the difference. Thanks for the interesting review!
You're welcome. The author really did well with character development.

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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 10 Aug 2018, 06:43

This is a historical fiction book I could easily enjoy. Your review sealed the deal for me; I am bypassing the typos and adding this one to my reading list. Thanks for the enlightening review and the recommendation.

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kimmyschemy06
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Latest Review: American River: Currents by Mallory M. O'Connor

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 14 Aug 2018, 21:29

Ruba Abu Ali wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 06:43
This is a historical fiction book I could easily enjoy. Your review sealed the deal for me; I am bypassing the typos and adding this one to my reading list. Thanks for the enlightening review and the recommendation.
You're welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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