Back of the book: Meridy Dresden was once a free-spirited, fun-loving girl. All that changed when the boy she loved was killed in a tragic fire. Since then, she alone has carried the burden of a terrible secret. Years later, married to a wonderful man and mother of a teenage son, she is shocked to learn that a childhood friend is being blamed for that long-ago fire. Fearful but determined, Meridy returns to the South Carolina Lowcountry and summons the courage to make a decision that may destroy her well-ordered life, her family’s reputation, her contented marriage, and everything she’s worked so hard to protect… including her heart.
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I was pulled into Patti Callahan Henry’s touching novel from the first page. Meridy Dresden has reached a point in her life where she is known among her husband’s friends as “perfect Meridy” – the perfect wife, mother, friend. The problem is she feels like a fraud. Ever since the tragic night where life changed forever she has tried to be good. Her husband knows nothing about her life before they met; her son is grown and ready to leave for college; and her best friend was just divorced by Meridy’s husband’s boss. Things are happening that are out of her control.
Meridy goes home to South Carolina to write a curriculum of the Gullah culture for her local school. Repressed memories return that force her to face the past. With the help of Tulu, her family’s former housekeeper, she learns how to come to grips with what happened twenty-five years earlier – the night of the tragic fire. Tulu teaches her the meaning of Gullah proverbs which leads to finding the truth in her past and helps her to understand what is important going forward.
I really liked this novel. It was easy for me to relate to Meridy in a few ways. I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the lessons learned. Where The River Runs is the second book I’ve read by Patti Callahan Henry and I look forward to reading more.