Into This River I Drown is a mystery, a thriller, a love story, a paranormal story, a fantasy... yes it is all those things and it is more. It is a book about love, loss, faith, grace, hope, friendship, evil, betrayal, family, saying good-bye, grieving, fighting for what you believe in, for what is right, it is about trust but at the deepest core of it...it comes back to love and sacrifice.
I had avoided this book for awhile, all the indications were that it was going to shatter me and it did. Not in a big cosmic explosion, but slowly, in little jagged pieces. I was left feeling emotionally bruised and raw. I know that there is still a lot about this book that I want to think about and may even change my mind about what I think.
The foundation of this story is built on the relationship between fathers and sons. Benji looses his father and from there we share his journey into manhood, we watch as he struggles to remain true to the man his father believed him to be and the man he knew his father to be. It's not an easy struggle and at times he is overwhelmed with questions and self doubt. Then Cal comes into his life and things get really confusing, crazy and in ways he doesn't realize better.
I truly was mesmerized by this book, by the way the writer told his story, by all the characters that were in or entered Benji's life, there were so many colorful and intriguing people Big Eddie, Benji's dad, Lola, Benji's mom and the love of Big Eddie's life, Nina, Benji's aunt and so much more than people could fathom, Christi & Mary, Benji's remaining aunts who along with Nina make up the Trio, Abe, Benji's friend, Rosie, owner of the local diner, Sheriff Griggs, Mayor Walden and on and on the list goes.
What this book isn't, is a light, fluffy read. From start to finish this story made me think and feel and not always things that I wanted to be thinking about or feeling, but at the end of it I'm ok with that. I like a book that challenges me and if you let it this book will challenge you. It will make you examine your relationships, question how you feel about things and people in your life and not in a bad way, just in that way that reminds you to never, ever take what is there for granted because maybe tomorrow or the next day it won't be
I could probably go on for hours about this book because like I said I'm still thinking about it, still pondering all that I read, still putting the jagged little pieces back where they belong, which it's turning out isn't necessarily where they came from and that's probably good too.
I'm glad I read this book and in light of some of the things that have happened in my life over the past few weeks I think it was the right time for me to read it. I think one day when I'm feeling brave I'll read it again because I feel like it's one of those books that needs to be read more than once to really see everything it contains.
If you haven't read this book and you're needing to challenge yourself and step outside the box, I think you'll enjoy all that T.J. Klune has to offer with this story and if you're like me and Benji and you have lost your father and know that heartache then might I recommend a box of kleenex and a teddy bear be kept handy at all times to help ease the rough moments. But I highly recommend reading this book no matter what, it is a truly beautiful experience.