First, There Is a River

First There Is a River In this tale of heartache and self discovery Emma seeks solace on her uncle s boat where she is greeted by the kindness and companionship of a stranger As she learns about herself and the possibilit

  • Title: First, There Is a River
  • Author: Kathy Steffen
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 332
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In this tale of heartache and self discovery, Emma seeks solace on her uncle s boat, where she is greeted by the kindness and companionship of a stranger As she learns about herself and the possibility of happiness, her vengeful husband follows close behind.

    261 Comment

    • Arlene Hayman says:

      This was a riveting story about Emma's escape from an abusive, delusionary husband who uses his belief in God as justification for heinous crimes and mistreatment of others. It seems like a coming of age story, of sorts, as Emma regains her self-confidence and emerges as a confident, spirited woman. I felt that there were some minor incongruities to the story, as the author seemed to alude to some minor details that were not specifically conveyed. For example, Emma's husband Jerad saw Emma's 'ca [...]

    • Jennifer says:

      This book was a page turner from the very beginning. The book had all of the right kind of characters those you sympathized with, those that had their vices but were good at heart, those that needed some direction, and those you despised. The author told the story in such an engaging way, I didn't want to put the book down. This story of life on a riverboat made me feel like I was actually there. Few stories are actually written this well.

    • Lisa says:

      After I finished reading 'First, There is a River,' by Kathy Steffen, I started thinking about what makes a book memorable. Out of the thousands of books we read in our lives, what is it that makes us remember plotlines and characters years after we've read a particular book? I think part of it might be that something about the story resonates with the reader. Another component could be that the characters are so well-drawn that they become real people to the reader and as the story unfolds, the [...]

    • Dori says:

      This story was a classic example of "don't judge a book by it's cover" It was a free Friday book and I went ahead and downloaded it; but it's been sitting in my library for quite a while now. It just wasn't one of the books that jumped out at me and said, "Read me now!" I am one of those readers who looks at lot at what other people thought about a book before making the decision to read it. The reviews for this book led me to believe that many had enjoyed it.Well, I happened to have enjoyed it [...]

    • Nicole says:

      Like someone else said this is a weekend/vacation read. The story line is solid enough and the river boat setting is fantastically written. Though the story had a weak beginning and "fluffy/let's get this wrapped up" ending I thought the story telling and character development was enjoyable and compelling. I would read Steffen again.I really wished Steffen had developped her "bad guy" character a little better. He had no redeeming character qualities at allking him evil, but so much so that you [...]

    • Gail says:

      I was immediately drawn into the story. It starts out with the reader thinking Jared is a young man in love, but scorned by the girl's father because of social status differences, but within paragraphs it changes to a dark young man committing murder. The story then switches to several years later and Emma's miserable life being abused by her monster of a husband, Jared. She escapes to the saftey of life on a riverboat after Jared takes her two children from her. The author did an excellent job [...]

    • Julie Johnson says:

      A woman seeks her self and a man seeks revenge.With no options left to her, Emma seeks refuge aboard her uncle's riverboat, the Spirit of the River. We then join her in her journey to self that takes place on the riverboat among many colorful characters. Among these characters is Gage, scarred for life (in more ways than one) from a riverboat explosion. Gage's experience with heartache draws him to Emma. Emma learns to trust that anything is possible, including saving her children and facing her [...]

    • Tiffany says:

      This was a couldn't-put-it-down read for me. (Falls on my less-than-24-hour-read list.) Emma's story of overcoming an abusive life was fast paced with plenty of tense moments. There was just a touch of the supernatural and a bit of romance to boot. My only desire would be more closure at the end for several of the characters. I would have liked a few more details and just a bit . . . more at the end. Oh, and there are several POV changes that creep up without warning. Rating - There is mild lang [...]

    • Carmen says:

      I'm not sure why, but I was surprised at how good this book was. I bought this book at a small town craft fair, directly from the author. Ms. Steffen and I had a great conversation about writing, and I decided to buy the book based on the riverboat setting alone. Although I did enjoy the setting of this book, what I enjoyed even more was the lovingly drawn characters. You can tell that the author really cares about them.The ending was pretty predictable, but it was fun to watch it all unfold. Ov [...]

    • Amy Hill says:

      very good book couldnt put it down finished it in four days

    • Mary says:

      Too many of the free Nook books from Barnes and Noble are soap opera style. I have a few more to try. I hope they change to something more interesting soon.

    • Patsy says:

      A novel about an abusive husband, Jared, Emma his wife and two children. Emma knows she has to leave Jared to protect herself. Jared had hired the two children out to a neighbour to help them with their chores, Emma knows this is the time to get away. Her uncle owns a riverboat, named Spirit and he needs a cook on the Spirit, this is one thing she knows she can do so she leaves Jared and takes a job on the Spirit as the cook. She loves it.The story begins like a snake crawling on the ground with [...]

    • Jennifer says:

      Meh. This was a free friday book or I probably wouldn't have read it. It's enjoyable but pretty forgettable, too. I did read it in a weekend so it was able to keep my attention.Things I liked about it: The characters were very well developed for the most part. Emma in particular. The author did a good job of illustrating her stuggles and fears while trying to ovecome them all. The setting of a riverboat on the Ohio river was also very well done. You could almost feel like you were on the river w [...]

    • Sara says:

      Emma Perkins is a shell of a woman, her husband an abusive monster who believes that he is teaching her God's lessons with each beating. When he sends their children away, she has had all she can take and escapes to the safety of her uncle and a job aboard his riverboat. It is aboard Spirit where she learns to live again.This debut novel was a disappointment. I found the story flat and predictable, and it really dragged despite being a rather short 250 pages. The characters were poorly written, [...]

    • Jim says:

      This book really touched me. I spent most of my later teen and early adult years as a deacon in my church and volunteering in church activities. Later I taught in a catholic school. However, I am first and foremost a scientist who observes people. Over the years it has always amazed me how faith in the same book can cause some people to do such good works and yet drive others to do such evil, even as they claim to be "of God." Ms. Steffen captured that feeling so well in her story. She creates m [...]

    • Dee ReneeChesnut says:

      This book was downloaded to my Nook library as a Free Friday selection from Barnes and Noble. The historical setting of communities along the Ohio river and of the steamboat Spirit of the River was what I enjoyed most about this book. The author acknowledges her thanks to Ohio River Museum and National Mississippi River Museum. My 3-star, or average, rating is due to author's depiction of her characters in a historical romance for despite her efforts to make them different, the characters still [...]

    • K.A. Jordan says:

      This is a perfectly acceptable weekend read. The riverboat setting is presented very well. There is a great feeling of time and place.The book compares well to others by this publisher. There were a few typos, even though the book is from a well-known imprint.The writing is smooth. The setting is so well drawn that I could almost hear the engines of the paddleboat. She's got a good cast of characters - with one exception.I knocked the score back 2 stars for relying heavily on the 'Bible-Thumping [...]

    • Amanda Hamilton says:

      "It was ok" pretty much sums it up. Woman marries man. Man is abusive murderer who used the Bible to justify taking out everything little thing on his wife. Wife's uncle gets her a job on a riverboat. She learns about freedom. Stuffhappens. I mean, for a free e-book it wasn't as dark, emo and repetitive as the last one I read, "Dark Legacy" but it was entertaining enough that I didn't get too pissed off at it, though I thought it went a little too out of its way to justify why Jared is the nutca [...]

    • Teri says:

      The setting for this book was well written. You felt like you were on the Ohio river, aboard the boat interacting with the characters. That being said, there were two things that disappointed me about this book. First there was the language, while not terrible, didn't add to the story at all. The second was the introduction to a supernatural nightmare in the story. This element of the story was just confusing. I felt as if I was being thrust out of historical fiction and into science fiction. Th [...]

    • Jeanne says:

      Jared Perkins is the first person we meet and we quickly learn he is not a nice guy. Indeed, among other things, he beats his wife, Emma. Early in the book, she runs from him and he pursues. Hmm, where have I heard this story before? Emma, who is beautiful, attracts attractive men with secrets. And damn, she can cook, too. With only one less-than-experienced helper, Lilly Moosebundle (I mean, really?), she whips up fabulous meals on an excursion riverboat. Then, she plays midwife. I kept wonderi [...]

    • Shannon Martinson says:

      I got this book for free, it's not one I normally would have picked up, but it was pretty good. An abused wife is given an opportunity to work aboard a riverboat by her uncle, who wants to keep her away from her abusive husband. Unfortunately, he follows her, intent on teaching her lessons, as he calls it. Ultimately, she finds that she is strong enough to choose her own path in life, instead of having her husband or any other man decide it for her. Although it's listed as being book one of a se [...]

    • Carole says:

      Emma is married to Jared, a man she soon discovers is an abusive, twisted man with an evil streak. Jared believes he is in complete control of his household and family and no one should interfere. He justifies his abusive ways by quoting and twisting biblical passages, stating he is the head of the house. When Emma finds a way out and begins a job as a cook on a river boat, Jared is furious and is determined to make her payonce he can get past the captain, her uncle, and the other men on the shi [...]

    • Rachel says:

      This was a free nook book so I gave it a try. It's definitely worth reading! The setting of this book was perfect, it made me feel like I was on the riverboat. It's the story of Emma's escape from an abusive, delusionary husband who uses his belief in God as justification for some awful crimes. I thought the theme of domestic violence was handled well. The book really shows how Emma learns to love herself again and overcome the negative effects of abuse. I thought the story was well done. It's a [...]

    • Michelle says:

      This was a really great bookjust not a great book for me. There was so much suspense and tension leading up to the final climax, that I ended up scanning a head, reading quickly through stressful parts and seeing how the book concluded. I had intended to go back and actually read the end of the book, but since more than three weeks have passed, I decided to call it finished and move on to other books. I would love to read the second and third book in this series, but if they are as suspenseful a [...]

    • Marti says:

      a nook book, Free Friday, I think This was actually more entertaining than I thought that it would be. Emma has an abusive husband but two nice children. After he arranges for another couple to take the children to use for laborers, she gets a job as cook on the riverboat which is half owned by her uncle. A romance with a strange loner named Gage ensues, and the abusive husband Jared goes to learn Emma some lessons. The husband is the most extremely vile and conniving character. What I wondered [...]

    • Jim Westney says:

      Set in the Ohio Valley and a riverboat, this story of a woman and the four men who loved her could easily be taken to be a love story but it's more than that. It's the story of the torments of each of the lead characters and how those torments shape the people, how they interact and what they become. It's also the story of the river and the people who live and work on it. This book is well written and worth reading.

    • Sally Loftis says:

      As an even lesser known writer, Kathy Steffen writes fiction stories set in the late 1880s and early 1900s. Here is another place where I am not a fan. I like current day stories, but I tried this book as a free read one week. It is the first book in a three-book series called Spirit of the River. I have only read one of her books (First, there is a River), but it was a memorable story about escaping domestic violence.

    • Jackie says:

      Well here's the thing. It was an enjoyable read with really well-developed characters. Very unique, too.ButA little shy of halfway in, a supernatural element is introduced. But it's not really central to the story. And doesn't really fit in It needs to be either more strongly developed or eliminated entirely.I read this over the weekend after it was the Free Friday nook book. It was a good weekend read, but nothing that will haunt me in the future.

    • Pam says:

      Well, I guess it took me awhile to finish. But it was worth it.I love the way Kathy Steffen writes. There is a sequel to this book and Iintend on reading it soon. In the meantime I will be reading Jasper Mountain.This is also by KathyIn First, There is a River, There is a lot of history about steam boats on the river.And a lot about how a woman overcomes abuse. Anyway, It was a great book.

    • SummerAmethyst says:

      I read this book a few months ago when I downloaded it as a free book for my Nook. Ok but forgettable book. How do I know? I only remember that I liked it well enought to finish it, nothing about it stands out in my mind. I can remember the basis of the story, but no details. Worth a first time read, but not a book that I will re-read and enjoy again in the future. Or even think of to reccommend to my friends.

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