The temperature is over 100. The rapids are some of the largest in North America. Water levels are rising. And JT Maroney, veteran river guide, is leading his 125th trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
For the next two weeks, his 13 passengers – strangers, mostly – will paddle, row, swim, ride the rapids, eat gourmet meals, sleep under the stars, and learn a lot about geology. They’ll learn a lot about each other, too – perhaps more than they want to know. Allegiances form, and likewise dissolve, in the course of an afternoon. JT’s decision on the first day to adopt a stray dog further complicates the group dynamics, leading to a series of fateful mishaps, one of which will alter the course of many lives.
This a perfect summer read, with a character driven plot, and a fascinating setting. It’s obviously well researched, and I wasn’t surprised to learn that Elisabeth has not only made the trip herself, but she also done it as an assistant. This research is evident in the telling of the story, as you can almost imagine yourself there, taking that journey with them.
A river trip also provides an ideal opportunity to bring together many varied characters.. which leads to some interesting individual stories, interactions, and outcomes. I won’t go into details about these, but I’m certain that you’ll have your favourite by the end of the book – there are definitely one or two who haven’t left me since reading!
There is a major crisis during the trip (personally I worked it out quite early, but thought that by the end it was well handled), but Elisabeth doesn’t try to fall back on making this a thriller.. there’s no need for a murder or anything similar. The book is all about the characters, and the journey.. both the physical river one, and their own personal ones.
Highly recommend for your suitcase this summer, allowing you to take a holiday within a holiday!