4 out of 4 stars
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"Where do we came from?" is a common question we all have asked our parents. Whether we moved from city, State, or country, it is hard to imagine a family that has always been here (it doesn't matter where "here" is for you).
American River: Tributaries by Mallory M. O'Connor is the first installment in the American River Trilogy. This is a book about a topic that is becoming more and more controversial, common and difficult to control: immigration. Tributaries explains how hard it is for immigrants to make it out in a new place, it also develops interracial relationships and the characters are so real and complex that I could understand them struggling to discover who they are, and what they want. American River: Tributaries begins in the mid-1800s, following the lives of three immigrant families, the Morales, McPhalan and Ashida, who arrive in California with the Gold Rush, trying to make a living. But it is primarily set in California during the 1960s, following how the children of those original families are living their parents dreams.
The book starts with an explanation of each family, their different background, and who their members are. This is the easy version of how they are related. I have to admit that I found this annoying, as I would much rather have that information as an annex I could check in the back of the book every time I had questions about that, and not as the first thing I saw in the book. Next, we have a brief explanation of the American River, where it is born, how it is formed. As I have not seen the river, or the places where the book is set, I truly appreciate the attention to detail and the vivid description the author makes.
That being said, this book is easy to read, and pick up at anytime. The book has a heavy amount of characters and narrators, so you do need to pay attention to who the narrator is to understand the book, so if you have trouble alternating narrators is better to stay away from this book. It is easy to enjoy and watch how the characters' lives play out, how they fight like so many still are fighting to survive. The writing is not predictable but it doesn't surprise either, it is the perfect balance between suspense and predictability. This is not a novel of shocking twists that will keep you glued to the book.
The characters' lives are interesting and dramatic. It is also easy to keep reading as we see how fate keeps bringing the families together. The attention to detail the author has, the different personalities and dreams she gave them, and how they grow through the story is amazing. With the amount of characters the book has, I have to congratulate Mallory O´Connor with her character development.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I honestly liked the book, it is unusual to see main characters of different races and backgrounds, they do not have an easy life and the characters are well written. It is also easy to read, was perfectly edited and I do not found any errors. I think people who like family themed books, historial fiction, or those interested in immigration will enjoy this book. However, if you are looking for a historical fiction book, with only a couple of characters, this book is not what you are looking for.
American River: Tributaries
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