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The River ebbs and pulls the reader along, sometimes ambling, sometimes with a violent force. On the surface, it's a survival story about college friends Jack and Wynn on a canoe trip who must race to safety while a raging forest fire follows in their wake. It's a surival story, but like all good stories, there's a deeper meaning behind Heller's surface narrative. It's about grief, it's about love, and it's about the relationships that make our time in this world worth fighting for. The River has a quiet grace only a seasoned author can provide. I'm looking forward to reading more from Peter Heller and I would strongly encourage you pick this one up.