This is the story of Ethan. The story begins in his early years and follows him through the majority of his life. Ethan grew up in a small town, had a great home life, was extremely close to his older brother Will, had very good friends, and an amazing dog. For the most part, it was idyllic and his relationships were solid until his life was forever changed by the death of one of his best friends.
Jan is definitely a storyteller, weaving a tale about coming of age in small-town America that puts the reader in the center of the story, feeling everything the main character feels and experiencing the ups and downs of regular or normal life. One can not help but feel warmth and sadness as the story unfolds.
January River is a lovely book, a great read and leaves one feeling a little nostalgic. I would not call it a story of hope, and yet it might be. In my mind, it is on the level of Legends of the Fall. Some people just do not have much luck and yet their life is full of power and meaning.