Missing: seventeen-year-old Kai Dionne and his dog Talia.
The search for these two spans a single day, morning twilight to late evening, from the time Kai leaps in a half-frozen river to save the dog to the hour he and Talia are recovered. Each person who comes to the river brings his or her secret needs and desires; each has known loss, and all are survivors: a homeless boy tries to find himself, his lost twin, his double; a childless mother grieves for her son and daughter; a man who shot his father recalls a tender, intimate night “when the father was kind, and not afraid, and not angry.” Kai and Talia belong to, and are loved by, a whole community. As strangers work together toward a single cause, they become family—bound by love not only to the ones lost, but to all who gather.
The perceiving consciousness is oceanic and atmospheric, embracing all living beings, swirling around a person, a bird, a bear, trillium blooming in dark woods, snow, stones, pines singing—moving closer and closer, loving, finally merging, sensing and knowing as one, before lightly whirling out again to embrace and love another. This powerful current of shared memory and experience, this ceaseless prayer, is a celebration of life, all life, mystery and miracle within an immense animate landscape, a song of praise, the voice of the river.
Melanie Rae Thon opens a new genre: call it Eco Avant-Garde, a confession of faith, and a love song to the world.
Thon writes about her inspiration for the book HERE.
"The Voice of the River is a lovely book, with the twists and turns, the clarity and murkiness of a river winding its way to the sea. It sings its song with a haunting musicality and the characters who walk it in search of the lost boy and his dog feel like cousins to the characters in Winesburg Ohio - each carrying within them the secrets and burdens and the hopes of their own lives, each with their own deep and murky stories to tell, drawn together in this small town, along this river.
Each chapter adds another verse and another person's voice to the song. And, while it is the song of the search for the boy, it is the song of the bigger search that each one of us undergoes as we follow the paths our lives take.
This is a book that takes some unraveling or, rather, one must be willing to allow its unraveling and to let it take you along with it and discover its mysteries as it slowly winds along its way."