What I’m Reading: The Frozen River

A blog reader messaged me a couple of months ago and said they thought I would like the book The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon. She also said she was going to be checking out other books by the author. I always take that as a good sign so I went to my online library and put the book on my waitlist.

I was optimistic about the book. It said it was set in the late 1700s. It said it was about a midwife. Yep. This is a book I had a good chance of enjoying. I was so optimistic about liking the book that I put other books by this author on my waitlist…if you remember last week’s review of the book “I Was Anastacia”, that was from the same author. That book just became available first so I read it first.

The book was very interesting. It always amazes me how far we’ve come in the world after reading a book like this. Men went away for weeks at a time to record land deeds. Nowadays, much of that can be handled in a single phone call. One thing that saddens me is that rape was thing then…and still is now. Why oh why? We can put a man on the moon, do all the things we can with our cell phone and still we are ugly to eat other. That was my warning…yes, rape does happen in this book so if that’s a triggering topic for you, you might want to skip this book. However, the book ends well…

After the book ends there is a part from the author that tells about how she got the idea for the book. It turns out it is very loosely historic. I loved listening to that part of the story…what was true, what was condensed, and what was entirely fictional.

Here is what Amazon had to say:

Maine, 1789: When the Kennebec River freezes, entombing a man in the ice, Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body and determine cause of death. As a midwife and healer, she is privy to much of what goes on behind closed doors in Hallowell. Her diary is a record of every birth and death, crime and debacle that unfolds in the close-knit community. Months earlier, Martha documented the details of an alleged rape committed by two of the town’s most respected gentlemen—one of whom has now been found dead in the ice. But when a local physician undermines her conclusion, declaring the death to be an accident, Martha is forced to investigate the shocking murder on her own.

Over the course of one winter, as the trial nears, and whispers and prejudices mount, Martha doggedly pursues the truth. Her diary soon lands at the center of the scandal, implicating those she loves, and compelling Martha to decide where her own loyalties lie.

Clever, layered, and subversive, Ariel Lawhon’s newest offering introduces an unsung heroine who refused to accept anything less than justice at a time when women were considered best seen and not heard. The Frozen River is a thrilling, tense, and tender story about a remarkable woman who left an unparalleled legacy yet remains nearly forgotten to this day

Amazon readers gave the book 4.6 stars. I’m going to agree. It was very good.

Happily, I have other books from the author still on my waitlist. There are four on the waiting list!! I’ll be so excited when it’s my turn. So far, with the author, she is 2 for 2 in writing good books!! You can find the book HERE if you are interested.

5 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Frozen River”

  1. A good read that I found is a Gentleman from Moscow. I’m reading Bill O’Reilly’s killing series. All so very good, great history.

  2. Please look at the spelling of Anastasia – no C – u less it’s different in this book and it could be. I just finished Frozen River because it was highly recommended but I thought it moved very slow. The premise of the story was interesting but I’m not good with reading so much detail – a personal failing – without something happening. It’s a good thing we don’t all like the same books, right? Hope I have a good one on my kindle for the weekend.

  3. This book is really making the rounds! I just finished my library copy and could hardly put it down. I agree with your comments on the subject matter. I’m a frequent reader of your blog but don’t generally respond. This book was worth it though!

  4. This is the book, the same one reviewed by a quilting friend in the April issue of the newsletter I edit! The review is on page 18 if you’re curious. The link is in my name.

  5. I liked it. Right now I’m listening to “Tending Roses” by Lisa Wingate. I enjoyed her other books but this one moves too slow for me.

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