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The Frozen River - Book Club Review

❄️ Book Club Book Review ❄️

Title: The Frozen River

Author: Ariel Lawhon

Publisher: Doubleday

Genre: Historical Fiction

The Frozen River was one of the last books I read in 2023 and it was my absolute favorite. This is a special story, a special character and the author is an amazing storyteller.

One of my favorite things to discover reading historical fiction is historical people I never knew about. Especially women. Such is the case with our main character, Martha Ballard. Martha Ballard was an eighteen-century midwife who defied the legal system and wrote herself into American history with her diary. She fought for and gave women a voice and rights in a time period that they didn’t have any.

“I record them for safekeeping. Memory is a wicked thing that warps and twists. But paper and ink receive the truth without emotion, and they read it back without partiality. That, I believe, is why so few women are taught to read and write. God only knows that they would do with the power of pen and ink at their disposal. I am not God—nor do I desire to be—but, being privy to much of what goes on behind closed doors in this town, I have rather good idea what secrets might be recorded, then later revealed, if more women took up the pen.”

This story starts with a bang and a body found in the ice of the Kennebec River that Martha is summoned to exam. After that the mystery of who did it, a rape trial, and Martha’s diary takes center stage of the story. The layers of this story are so well done!

“There are some losses in this life that we do not live long enough to fully grieve.”

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 All the stars! This is a must read! Even if you aren’t an avid HF reader like myself I think this will have a broad appeal. There is a lot of mystery in this story, plus strong characters. I loved a look at a strong marriage that felt equal in this time period. And the tight knit Ballard family made my heart sing.

Our last @bookfriendsbookclub of the year was a winner! We're looking forward to reading with you in 2024!

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