This is another wonderful books by Alissa York! With this novel, Alissa delivers a mesmerizing novel of discovery, loss and love that unwinds along a breathtaking journey up the Amazon.
This book is set in 1867 Philadelphia. Amateur naturalist Walter Ash is on the eve of his second expedition up the Amazon when he dies in an accident. Bereft and seeking some way to honour him, his wife, his son, and his young ward decide to go ahead with the journey. Like a long dream, the adventure hypnotizes and transforms them. As they leave the known world behind, they experience the jungle in all its fearsome wonder, and the reader does too.
Walter’s beautiful widow is trying to learn how to live again. His son finds the family he never knew. The third member of the expedition, a young Quaker woman named Rachel, turns out to be the true naturalist and heir to Walter Ash. She begins to see the magnificent creatures around her as more than mere specimens.
In Rachael, Alissa York has imagined a fascinating precursor to women such as Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey-pioneers who recognized that to truly know a creature you must meet it in its own habitat and on its own terms.
Even love stories seem to bloom on the river, none more profound than Rachael’s love of the natural world.
I love this story from beginning to end. I love books that celebrate nature and books that tell wholesome stories with serious values and character traits. It sure appeals to my philosophical bend.
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth