Missing: seventeen-year-old Kai Dionne and his dog Talia.
The search for these two spans a single day, morning twilight to late evening, from the time Kai leaps in a half-frozen river to save the dog to the hour he and Talia are recovered. Each person who comes to the river brings his or her secret needs and desires; each has known loss, and all are survivors: a homeless boy tries to find himself, his lost twin, his double; a childless mother grieves for her son and daughter; a man who shot his father recalls a tender, intimate night “when the father was kind, and not afraid, and not angry.” Kai and Talia belong to, and are loved by, a whole community. As strangers work together toward a single cause, they become family—bound by love not only to the ones lost, but to all who gather.
The perceiving consciousness is oceanic and atmospheric, embracing all living beings, swirling around a person, a bird, a bear, trillium blooming in dark woods, snow, stones, pines singing—moving closer and closer, loving, finally merging, sensing and knowing as one, before lightly whirling out again to embrace and love another. This powerful current of shared memory and experience, this ceaseless prayer, is a celebration of life, all life, mystery and miracle within an immense animate landscape, a song of praise, the voice of the river.
Melanie Rae Thon opens a new genre: call it Eco Avant-Garde, a confession of faith, and a love song to the world.
List of Names
Love Song for Tulanie Rey
2. The Red Fox
3. Rika, Marika: Love Song for Griffin
4. Morning Twilight
5. Silent Snow Singing Sparrow
6. River’s Edge
7. Niña, Pérdida: Love Song for Iris
8. A Song Unbroken
9. Love Song for the Unsaved Father
10. In This Light
11. Love Song for the Mother of No Children
12. Lost Children
13. Deer Song for Juliana and Roxie
14. Retreating Light
16. Unforgiven: Lullaby for Lela
17. The Companionship of Stone
18. Birdsong Under Water
19. Early Darkness
20. The Miracle: Lullaby for Lost Children
“The Voice of the River is a beautifully written, deeply inclusive and profoundly spirtual work of art. I am moved by its great genorosity above all, and its wisdom. It is a gift like no other.”--Carole Maso
“In this jewel of a book, Melanie Rae Thon has managed to transcend the boundaries of species and speech. Not only has she given voice to the river, but she has given us fluency in the bittersweet language of a host of beings at once broken by disease, injury, and loss, and exalted by nature, joy, and love.”--John Vaillant