Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


 Historical Fiction Review    

There is a River
By Charlotte Miller
NewSouth Books, 2002
Hardcover, $25.95 (304pp)
ISBN: 1588380904



Charlotte Miller is back, with the third and final novel about the Sanders Family of Eason County, Alabama. As in her earlier books, Behold, This Dreamer and Through a Glass, Darkly, Jansen and Elise Sanders struggle daily to love one another and keep their family together against enormous odds. They dream of a better life for themselves and their children. While Jansen dreams of returning to the family farm, he realizes the family will have the added disadvantage of four generations of hatred with the controlling Eason family. 

Like everyone else in America, Eason County sent soldiers to World War II to fight against the Japanese and Germans.  Jansen and many of his co-workers at the mill are drafted, leaving behind wives and jobs with no assurances the greedy Easons will treat them fairly upon their return home to civilian life. 

Miller's novel reflects the changes and conflicts in the south after WWII between the sharecroppers and mill-owners -- the battles between agrarian and industrial economies in small southern towns. 

Readers who might be concerned about whether or not they should have read the two earlier novels for context need not be There is a River stands alone as a Southern historical novel but fans of Miller's early works insist they become addicted.

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews


2002, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved