"Unputdownable read; not just a love story, but a poignant and deeply moving account of how war and conflict can devastate lives across generation.”
Publishing News, 'Name to Watch'
"Absorbing tale." The Bookseller, 'One to Watch'
“Lyrical, playful, profound and entirely engaging, After River is a sweepingly confident debut novel from Canadian author Donna Milner. A vibrant tale of love, redemption, tragedy and deep secrets, this is a heart-tugging piece of work by a writer who clearly understands her craft. Underneath the surface of the delicate interpersonal dancing, Milner's characters are beautifully sorrowful. It's an instant classic with a dramatic beauty and a sense of place that's both acute and memorable…Milner imbues her writing with liquid depths. She guides the reader with graceful, contemplative and sure-footed storytelling that artfully reveals how war can devastate lives. Although this book doesn't hinge on any specific moment it holds a story that reveals itself slowly and in subtle, satisfying ways. There is a sense in After River of pent-up energy, of something about to burst, eventually the dam breaks and it has a massive effect. This is the kind of classically contoured romance novel that we believed they didn't write anymore. After River is a gorgeous novel, well paced and by turns touching, poignant and sad, with enough emotional punch to floor a heavyweight.” Stephen Davenport, The Independent Weekly, Australia
“Read in a clear, lyrical voice, After River is a gripping, poignant family saga.”
Patti Houisse, Waterstone’s Kensington
“This is an engrossing novel of family life in a remote community, the catastrophic effect of one incomer’s influence and the small-town bigotry stirred up by uninformed gossip. I loved this book and can only wonder why it has taken 20 years to reach its audience…There are many strands for reading groups to tease out in discussion and I am sure this book will be a real runner.” Sonia Jackson, New Books Magazine
“Donna Milner has an alert ear for dialogue and a gift for suspense: the combination makes After River electrically charged” The Times
“Milner's writing sucks you into the story, as there is so much love and so much heartbreak in the Ward family that you can't be surprised that the family fractured. Milner tells the story in so much detail that every action and every emotion feels so real and you can understand each one of them…For years, I've been telling people that they must read Tawni O'Dell's Back Roads. Now, I'll be telling them to read that and Donna Milner's After River. They are both beautifully written stories that take the reader through all the triumphs and tragedies of life and bring you out the other side as emotionally drained as if you'd lived it yourself. Years after I discovered a perfect moment in literature, I have found another and I know that I will read this book over and over again." The Bookbag
“Donna Milner, in her beautiful and multi-layered debut novel, proves that the past cannot be altered: it can only be lived with - or buried…Throughout, Milner's graceful prose is deliberately propulsive but also quite plain as she moves her narrative forward toward its emotional conclusion. The author's talent lies in her careful plotting” Curled up with a good book
“A beautifully written book” Love Reading
“Milner’s writing is quite simply, beautiful” A Bookworms World
Two weeks in the Globe and Mail national bestsellers list. Shortlisted for both the White Fuir Award and the Canadian Library Award, and was the Canadian Living Book Club pick for June 2008.
“After river is about the raw beauty in how families can endure, about the heavy burden that can be carried, how it is always better to just let it go. Milner patiently unravels her tale with grace and insight” The Hamilton Spectator
“British Columbia author Donna Milner's debut novel is an astonishing read that makes her a wonderful addition to Canada's growing roster of literary writers. After River is a saga about the way secrets and betrayal can tear a family apart, and Milner's perception and depth in telling her story may remind readers of Joyce Carol Oates' We Were The Mulvaneys.” Winniepeg Free Press, Kathryne Kouk
“A heartfelt depiction of a particular time and place…Expect to hear more from this talented newcomer” Booklist
“Wonderful…A fabulous family saga!” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“In a debut that mixes hothouse melodrama with the eventual getting of wisdom…a tear-jerking, lengthy resolution, Natalie and her family put all the pieces back together as the narrative once again swings between the soapy and the sensitive.” Kirkus
“Solidly crafted settings and characters. . . . Charming.” Publishers Weekly