“When Time is a River” by Susan Clayton-Goldner

When Time is a River

When Time is a River

Susan Clayton-Goldner

In “When Time Is A River,” teenager Brandy wants to be an actress more than anything. But her dream may have been dashed before it was even formed: she has a noticeable scar on her cheek from a childhood accident. Now she’s going through plastic surgeries and trying not to feel resentment towards her pretty young stepmother and her perfectly beautiful little sister, Emily. When Emily is kidnapped while Brandy is babysitting her, Brandy finds herself digging into the past to try to rescue her before it’s too late, while her family threatens to crack up around her.

“When Time Is A River” is a child-snatching suspense story, and it works very well on that level, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat as everyone races to find Emily, with surprise plot twists and a couple of genuinely nail-biting moments.

At the same time, it’s more than just a simple suspense novel. The real story is about Brandy, as she is in the process of transitioning from a girl to a young woman, and her struggle to get past her physical and mental scars, her guilt over what has happened to Emily, and to make other people take her seriously. The question of what will happen to Brandy and her family is just as tense as what will happen to Emily, and the two stories are intertwined without making the connection overly heavy-handed. “When Time Is A River” is a detective novel, but it’s also an examination of the pressures that can hold families together or crack them apart, written in a simple, affecting prose style that allows the characters, especially the teenage Brandy, to shine through.

My thanks to the author for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Buy links: Barnes and NobleAmazon

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