About the Book
Author: Donelle Dreese
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Number of Pages: 270
Synopsis: Denver Oakley’s home town of Adena, Pennsylvania has become a world on fire. The abandoned coal mines underneath the town are a blazing inferno, the escaping smoke and gases killing vegetation and making residents sick. Denver, who recently lost her parents, feels adrift and alone. She sells the family home, drops out of college and takes refuge in Isabel Beach, North Carolina. There, white, scalloped beaches and a coastal wildlife sanctuary provide Denver with a sense of belonging and a new focus.
And then she receives a letter from Josh, a good friend who disappeared from Adena before Denver left. In the letter, Josh asks her to return to their hometown and meet with him at their old meeting place on the river. She thought she’d never go back, and is still not convinced she can re-open those old wounds.
But if she ignores the letter, Denver will always wonder what might have been.
Denver has lived in Adena her entire life, but when her father discovers a fire burning in the coal mines beneath her beloved town, Denver's life is forever changed. Tensions run high between the small town folks and Denver's dad becomes the scapegoat. One even Denver's best friend, Josh, gets word to her that her parents have been murdered. Denver knows her father's commitment to save the town from the deadly fire coupled with the townspeople's fear and denial are to blame. When Josh leaves Adena, Denver has no reason to stay and sets out on a life altering journey to discover herself and the world outside her hometown. Can she make a fresh start with so much sorrow weighing on her heart?
I found Deep River Burning to be such a compelling story, first with the struggles facing Adena and then with Denver's own struggles to come to terms with the past in order to find joy in the future. The author's vivid detail sets the tone and allows readers to easily visualize the places and people Denver encounters. The story reminds readers just how powerful the human spirit is even when faced with life's greatest challenges. I thought the plot was fascinating and the characters were well developed and interesting. Deep River Burning is definitely worth the read.
Available on Amazon.