Moon River takes place in Stream Ridge, West Virginia. Everyone knows everyone and it’s thirty miles to the nearest store. About as backwoods and redneck as you can get without embracing the stereotype.
Abigail is our narrator here, a third grader who has a crush on Ryan Mills. And she doesn’t let you forget it. She takes the reader on the journey of her life all the way until high school. Don’t worry, Ryan Mills goes with us.
For millennials, this novel will be nostalgia in your hands. Abigail grows up during that pivotal time where technological advances exploded. We share her first time with MSN messenger. The emo-goth phase with the Tripp pants that Hot Topic sells. The more the story went on, the more I found myself comparing her friends to mine when I was that age.
All the characters are easy to identify with on one level or another. They’re kids, of course, doing the stupid things that kids do. Teasing, backstabbing, tears, and boyfriend stealing everywhere. There’s so much going on in Abigail’s life that it would be easy to get lost. That didn’t happen. Moon River is well-organized and well-paced. Keeping track isn’t an issue.
The author’s writing style is solid. Abigail’s tone in the beginning is simple and childlike. It reflects her personality well. Her use of description helps the reader keep track of everything, not only her. Glimpsing the lives of other characters allows a better understanding of Abigail’s story. This is where a lot of first person novels go wrong—and one that Moon River gets right. As she gets older, there is a subtle, but noticeable shift in her narration.
The lack of overused tropes in Moon River was refreshing. There were one or two, as expected from every novel. What sets Abigail’s story apart is the approach. The story unfolds in a way that doesn’t feel cliché. It also had a rather unpredictable ending. It helped serve as the final note in Abigail’s character development. The moment where the readers realize that she’s no longer a child. The moment Abigail realizes that she’s no longer a child. As the reader, the level of empathy felt along the journey will be strong. Once you get to the end, you’re left with a strong, proud feeling. Determined, even, if there are challenges in your life that need dealing with.
Moon River took me back. The story itself mimicked things that I’ve experienced. That many people have experienced. Definitely worth the read.
Buy it here!