Saturday, September 11, 2010

Review: River Rising

River Rising (Loss of Certainty Trilogy - Book 3) by T.P. Jones

Publication Date: September 2010

Publisher: Synergy Books
Format: Hardcover, 392 pp
ISBN-13: 9780984235889

ISBN: 0984235884

(Recieved for review from Phenix & Phenix Publicity)

Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes & Noble):

In the third and final installment of The Loss of Certainty trilogy, T.P. Jones once again delves into the heartland to portray the gritty drama of life in the Midwest. Constant rains on top of melting winter snow fuel fears of a record flood, in Jackson, Iowa. Construction on the town's dog track on an island in the Mississippi River is jeopardized, threatening Jackson's finanical future. Even more ominous, city officials learn that the existing floodwall and levee system might fail to protect the city itself.

With little time to lose, the people of Jackson must set aside old grievences and long-held prejudices to work together. Tensions build while they debate whether to add to the system, and as they argue, the river continues to rise.


T.P Jones' third book in The Loss of Certainty trilogy brings to a close the stories of many characters we have come to know throughout the series. Jones, takes life in a Midwest community and tells the story through the eyes of it's city officials. His experience in small-town politics has helped Jones to create a riveting and interesting novel depicting the ins and outs of how a town runs and who makes the decisions.

In the third book in the trilogy, River Rising the inhabitants of Jackson, Iowa are faced with the possibilty of a devestating flood. The winter snows, along with torrential spring rains have the local meterology community in an uproar. On top of that, the continued delays in the building of the town's new dog track are weighing heavily on Jackson's finances. The town has earned the reputation of being one of the most prejudice towns in America and city officials are reluctant to propose new plans that will upset the balance and cause racial tensions to boil over. When the city officials become aware that the floodwall and levee's may not be able to keep the mighty Mississippi within it's banks and out of their town they are forced along with everyone in Jackson to re-evaluate their situation and work together to overcome their prejudices and long-standing fears.

There are several themes at work in this novel. One, being the racial tensions within this small Midwestern community. With the destruction of the museum exhibit in Book Two,
The Gamble
, the reader was able to pick up on that tension and see where Jones was taking it. In Book Three he continues this idea, but focuses on something that before the inhabients of Jackson had been reluctant to do, work together. We see how both parts of the community, black and white, will suffer if the flood becomes a reality. We also see how they must work together to prevent it. I think Jones showed a lot of courage in the way he portrayed this issue and insight on the things that draw people together.

The flood is the focal point of the book, which the reader will see through the eyes of the city officials who are desperately trying to figure out how to save their town, while their own lives are falling apart around them. We are able to see the interworkings of how a small town runs and what it takes to make things happen. This trilogy is focuses a lot on the race issue, but just as much on the aspect of small town politics. I enjoyed the series, and felt that it brought to the forefront the fact that even though we think race is an issue of the past, that is not necessarily true. It is a common issue that still has to be dealt with on a daily basis.

I recommend this book to people who are interested in racial issues as well as those who are interested in small town government. It is a very character driven book, with characters from all walks of life and with all manner of difficulties that people face everyday. River Rising a great culmination of the series.

I am giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

River Rising is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.