The Island of Four RiversAuthor: Christopher Morgan
Featured in the October, 2006 magazine
(A good read)
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The Davis family has been brought together by a crisis. Bill "Crabby" Davis, the family patriarch, is desperately ill in hospital, felled by a stroke, and kept alive only by medical technology. His embittered and passive wife Dot, his pedantic son Henry, and long-estranged daughter Eleanor must decide together when and how to end his life. Meanwhile, another narrative stirs and begins to assert itself, as intrepid explorer Crabby Davis ranges like a true swashbuckling Victorian gentleman through the wilds of the South Pacific, keeping a vivid diary as he goes. As the latter-day plight of the dysfunctional Davis family becomes more comically revealing under the pressure of having to make life-and-death decisions, and Henry discovers, astonishingly, the transforming power of love, so does the voyage of Crabby Davis become increasingly fantastical, until the parallels in the two narratives become impossible to ignore. When Crabby embarks on a final incredible quest to the source of the four rivers on his island, the voyage of the larger-than-life explorer and Bill Davis' final journey towards death dramatically intersect.
The stories eventually come together, though not as neatly as one would hope.
Review by: Reg Domingo