Longlisted for the International IMPAC
UK and Australia
"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'
“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
“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
“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."
“A beautifully written book”
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.
“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.”
Winnipeg Free Press, Kathryne Kouk
"After River has great popular appeal."
The Vancouver Sun
"This debut novel is beautifully written; one of those curl-up-on-the-sofa books to savor."
Airdrie Echo (Best Books of 2008)
“Wonderful…A fabulous family saga!”
“Solidly crafted settings and characters. . . . Charming.”
.: site design :.
Testimonials for After River and The Promise of Rain
The Spanish editon of After River will be available from Maeva publishers in Spain, under the title CUDANO TODO CAMBIO in June 2012