Three Rivers by Tiffany Quay Tyson

three rivers

Photo Credit: St. Martin’s Press- July 21s

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Three Rivers

Summary from Goodreads:

When a dangerous storm threatens the Mississippi Delta, two families are put to the test in this Southern literary debut

Melody Mahaffey, trapped into touring for years with a third-rate Christian pop band she can hardly stand, is almost relieved to receive her mother’s distress call. But when she returns home to care for her dying father and brain-damaged brother at the sprawling, defunct Three Rivers Farm, Melody is shocked to discover that her mother has abandoned the family. Sure that her daughter will do the right thing, Geneva has left to seek spiritual guidance and break things off with her long-time lover.

Rain begins to fall and an epic flood threatens the Mississippi Delta. While Melody tries to get a handle on the chaos at home, a man and his little boy are squatting on her land, escaping their own nightmare. Obi is on the run from a horrific mistake, and he’s intent on keeping his son with him at any cost. When the storm arrives, though, they have no choice but to take shelter in Melody’s house. And the waters just keep rising.

A lifetime of lies, misunderstandings and dark secrets bubble to the surface as the flood destroys the land and threatens their lives. Set against the fertile but dangerous landscape of the rural south near the fictional town of White Forest, Mississippi, Three Rivers beautifully weaves together three parallel stories, told over three days, as each character is propelled headlong into the storm.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

When this book just magically showed up in my mailbox one day, I had to grin. A New York City publicist was certainly paying attention to my mailing address and book taste (Thank you SO much, K!) 

Reading Tiffany’s debut book, seeing the state of Mississippi through her eyes, and especially the fictional town she bases her story in- well, she definitely did her research and remembered her roots. While all of Mississippi is not like the fictional town that THREE RIVERS is based upon- there is much truth to the area and the characters, while again fictional- I could “see” them. So, well done!

The basis of this story is a true event of a baptism going horribly wrong. And, being from the South- where church is part of many people’s lives- THREE RIVERS gives lots to think about. This book is not really about finding religion as it’s more about coming to terms with religion and your ideas about it. Some characters are running from it, some are embracing it and others are just making peace.

Each character, whether they know it or not, is on a path to their next steps in life. Some are growing into the people they are supposed to be, while others are paying for past mistakes and even some are paying for other people’s mistakes.

While the first half or so of the book is a bit slow (it’s a fair amount of characters and some backstory that is necessary to understand the second half), the second half picks up considerably and makes for some fine reading. The characters are fleshed out, and while the ending could leave some people wondering “What next?” it fits in with the whole tone of the book nicely.

Bottom line: Nice debut for Tiffany Quay Tyson. While not an easy-breezy read, for fans of Southern Lit and thoughtful story lines- this book could be a winner!


*This book was sent to Traveling With T by St. Martin’s Press for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

T Traveling With T pic sign off

6 thoughts on “Three Rivers by Tiffany Quay Tyson

  1. Just saw a mention of this on another blog but not a review rather an interview with the author. Slow moving is okay, some books need that. I’ll put it into my wish list.

  2. Given the religious undertones to the book, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I usually will stay well away from any book in which religion plays a big part.

    What drew me to Three Rivers was the three stories colliding and at the same time the river flooding. It was really well done, even with the vast number of characters.

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