Historical fiction is one of my all time favorite genres, so had no hesitation in wanting to read ‘River People’.

Absolutely enjoyed reading this book! I seldom write what a story is about, as i prefer one to read the book for themselves, but i do highly recommend. Hope to read more books by this author. My thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review.



This is one of those books, where you have to really think about if your review can give the story it’s full due. My best suggestion is, if you want to read a late 1800’s story that includes loss, love, life, fear, abuse, hope, caring, resilience and a little bit of Grandma Teegan’s Irish visions, pick this up and enjoy the ride! This book caught me completely off guard, it is a gem!

I love historical fiction so when I saw the cover on this one, I picked it right up, and was so pleasantly surprised. This is an AWESOME read!! The description gives a very good overview of what the book is about, but what the description doesn’t tell you is how you will come to feel and care about Effie, Bridget and the beauty of the writing. I loved the way the story started with Bridget and Effie’s chapters, such a great way to ease us into their dire circumstances and unlikely meeting, then we follow them through a couple years of their harrowing lives in the wilds of Nebraska.

Some books just grab you and don’t let go, this was one of them. The author’s ability to describe the scenes is so fantastic, the clothing, the lodge on stilts, you can imagine the cold and the wind coming thru the walls, picture the blizzards and feel so much for the plight of Effie and Bridget. I loved them both, then I also came to care about Cora, Mae and Chief, and absolutely despised the reverend and Deet.

There are so many subtle nuances and lasting impressions from this story that will come to haunt me. I was given an advanced copy from Boutique of Quality Books Publishing through Net Galley for my honest review, this one is a high 5****’s. Excellent read, highly recommend.



This ain’t your home no more.” The young Effie was sent away in marriage with Rev Jackdaw by her father, in a time when girls could get married at the age of ten, just by lifting a Bible. After a grueling trip, she was left alone with Bridget, or Rooster as the reverend calls her. Guilt feelings about Bay Sally’s death kept her from loving Bridget.

It is a story of suppression, abuse, misogyny, patriarchy, prejudice, perceptions, hopes, dreams and broken promises – Rev Jackdaw se vision of his own Missionary in Omaha, Mae who was traded at eight for a gallon of whiskey with the promise of a new dress, Bridget who lived for the day Mum and Pappy came for her and Effie who dreams of a house and a family.

At first Chief is the only good person around, fighting off his own demons at night. Yet Effie avoids him at all cost with her own prejudice. Effie never really learns to accept kindness, and her heart never really softened up to Bridget, who mostly acted as the adult. Being the main character, the reader keeps on hoping for a bit of character development.

In places Effie’s voice become muddled with the narrator’s, as if she is just too wise for a girl her age, given her upbringing and social isolation. However, she also was confused enough to be totally incompetent and without any social skills most of the time.

Bridget’s brother Rowan told her that her Mum is a Selkie, and that all water, rivers and streams are connected. Clinging to her grandma Teegan’s braid and the mythical Nera kept her going, always hoping to be reunited with her mum and her pappy.

Bridget is a clever one, who despite her circumstances, wants to become a doctor. Interesting analogy because she acts as a literary archetype of the child savior, through whom others found their truth and worth, helping them heal their own wounds.

Words and phrases put you right in the era where the story belongs. Neatly done and very convincing.

This is a gripping novel in the historical fiction genre, with truly unforgettable characters.



“Not since The Lovely Bones have we experienced such a moving tale of love, suspense, and family secrets narrated by a ghost. Lukas creates a complex, moving story with brilliant lyricism and hard won realism. She is a rare writer who makes you devour her words. Readers of Alice Hoffman and Anita Shreve will love this novel…and stay up all night to finish it!”

Jonis Agee

Author of 13 novels, including The River Wife

“Margaret Lukas has written a page-turner of a novel. Farthest House, boldly narrated by an unsettled spirit, is part-ghost story and a full-out love story of a family coming to terms with its mysterious past, much of it lived in an ancestral home set within a gorgeously rendered Nebraska landscape. Above all, Farthest House is the story of Willow, a bewildered little girl who grows into a passionate painter. I can’t remember the last time I rooted so enthusiastically for a heroine.”

Anna Monardo

Author of The Courtyard of Dreams and Falling in Love with Natassia

“I received this book through Early Readers on Library Thing. It will be released January 2014, and I recommend this book to everyone who likes mysteries/suspense. I mean I REALLY recommend it! If I could give it 10 stars I would. This book grabbed me from the very beginning…A baby girl is born in her grandmother’s house and her mother dies immediately after – but not from complications of childbirth. She was murdered. We are told this right at the beginning, but not by who, why, or how. The story is narrated by the baby’s great aunt Amelie-Anais, or actually her great aunt’s spirit. The rest of the story follows the girl until she’s 20. I really can’t tell more about the story in this short space, and wouldn’t want to try – there is too much! What I can say is that it is filled with suspense from the beginning to end. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath from start to finish. The characters are so well-drawn that I really felt that I knew them, and certainly developed specific feelings about each of them. The story is so well written, I can’t think of any point at which I felt it was dragging. In fact, I started the book yesterday afternoon, had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep last night, then read through the day today, finally finishing the 504 pages just a few minutes ago. You will NOT be disappointed by this book!!”



“I won this uncorrected proof in the November LibraryThing Giveaway and very glad that I did! This book makes me wish I was retired so I could read as late into the night as I wanted! I would have finished this book in one sitting if I had started earlier. This story is told by Amelie-Anais who tells us the story of four enigmatic generations. This narrator is buried where the family home is located in Nebraska. So many secrets and too many deaths. We’re following Willow’s life and how it is impacted by a birth defect and being raised by a father drowning in sorrow over the loss of his wife during the birth of Willow. Just a wonderful book! It’s being published January 28, 2014…mark your calendars!”



This book gripped me from the first chapter until the last. A definite page-turner that had my mind turning with it’s twisting plot. Reminds me of the style of V.C. Andrews but with much more connection to the characters. I hate to give any of it away as every part of this book was a clue of what was to come or what had already passed. Plenty of “aha” moments to awaken your senses and keep you turning the page!! Cannot wait until she releases her next story! A fan for life… highly recommend!