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CHARLES MARTIN is the author of six novels. He and his family live in Jacksonville, Florida.
A Southern writer who has been compared to Nicholas Sparks, Martin wrote his sixth novel after hearing of a man divorcing a wife dying of breast cancer. Doss Michaels, a fishing guide and part-time artist in Charleston, SC, is willing to face possible kidnapping and other serious charges generated by his disapproving father-in-law to fulfill his wife Abbie's last wishes for one more adventure together--a 130-mile trip down St. Mary's River. Filled with stereotypes (Abbie is the beautiful daughter of a Charleston senator who considers Doss trailer trash) and stretching credulity at times (a woman dying of cancer surviving even a day in a canoe), this story might win over readers nonetheless with its theme of husbandly devotion. The many nice ideas and images throughout, such as the use of the river journey as a metaphor for life, and Abbie and Doss's loving 14-year marriage chronicled in alternate chapters also compensate. Yet the abundance of nature/wildlife detail may detract from the story for some readers. But Abbie's top-ten wishes for her last year will make readers consider their own. Purchase where Martin is popular.--Rebecca Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
In this sentimental story about a terminal cancer patient's demise, Martin (When Crickets Cry) examines the lengths to which a loving husband will go for his dying wife. Doss Michaels, a portrait painter with a "trailer trash" background, marries Charleston, S.C., debutante Abbie Eliot Coleman, raised primarily by her demanding U.S. senator father after her mother died of ovarian cancer when Abbie was two. A decade after Abbie and Doss's marriage, her father and stepmother will still have little to do with Doss. Abbie develops breast cancer that later metastasizes to her brain, and tensions rise when Abbie's parents want her to spend her last days with them. But Doss and Abbie, armed with Abbie's top 10 wish list and fistfuls of medication, begin a 129-mile river journey from the small town of Moniac, Ga., on the St. Mary River out to the ocean. Martin brings to life the varying flora and fauna of this often fraught journey, while he captures the singular atmosphere of life on a changeable river as it traverses through varying Georgian and Floridian terrain. In the tradition of Nicholas Sparks and Robert James Waller, Martin has fashioned a heartbreaking story. (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"Lovers of love stories, get ready to cry you a 'River.'"Â Â USA TODAY "This tale is a pleasure to read because it eloquently pictures unquestioning, steadfast love." Â Â Fayetteville Observer