This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Rebecca McLafferty for Readers' Favorite
In Angela Castillo’s The River Girl’s Song, the reader experiences the vulnerability of 1880s Bastrop, Texas. Sixteen-year-old Zillia Bright is abandoned with her baby brother on the family farm. The reader’s heart will ache for the lifestyle of poverty and backbreaking work endured by this tenacious teen. The author authentically illustrates the hardships of everyday 1880s farm life and the complexities and dangers that go hand-in-hand with it.
Zillia encounters myriad obstacles that challenge her disposition and fortitude. Her resolve to protect her parents’ legacy evolves into her own soul searching priorities; she must decide what is best for her and her young brother. Strong-minded and determined not to fail, Zillia makes each decision with her brother’s well being and the family farm in mind. Good friends and neighbors prove to be invaluable while dangerous neighbors spew fear. A romantic story blossoms along with the heroine’s maturity and wisdom. The story’s unexpected kindnesses rival the flames of hatred and judgment that are as real today as they were in the 1880s. Christian compassion shown through sometimes simple and often unexpected gestures help Zillia learn that God truly loves her.
Angela Castillo’s ability to share the river’s presence is a product of her own knowledge and research. The magnitude of the river’s presence, whether giving a sense of calming solitude or the life-threatening rush of its current, was effectively portrayed. The pros and cons of living near a river provide its own set of challenges and rewards, which the author skillfully incorporated into the story. This coming-of-age story feels true to life, with Zillia’s outlook and priorities shifting as the story evolves.