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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
304 pages
Dec 2005
Bethany House Publishers

River Rising

by Athol Dickson

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Set in the 1920s in southern Louisiana, Athol Dickson's novel River Rising is about how the power of God can be used to overcome racism, elitism, and poverty. Hale Poser, an unassuming black man with little education, considers himself to be a routine hospital janitor and fix-it man. However, others begin to notice that Hale can "fix" more than burned out light bulbs and broken windows he can fix human beings. In one dramatic scene, Hale puts his hands on the abdomen of a pregnant woman whose infant is coming through the birth canal in the breech position. Miraculously, after some words of prayer, the infant turns around in the womb and is born with ease, totally naturally. When people try to probe Hale about who he is and how he can do miracles, he admits that he has spent his life trying to find out who his parents were. He grew up in an orphanage and knows nothing about his background.

The book becomes a quest for Hale Poser to discover who and where his mother is. His detective work keeps the readers turning pages. However, his uncanny superpowers make him someone both loved and at odds with "normal" people. It isn't just the color of his skin that makes Hale an outsider.

This novel holds a mirror up to society, asking readers to ask who is blessed by God and who is cursed by man. Admittedly, the book has scenes that are rather implausible, with too many coincidences at times, and the ending is predictable. Nevertheless, the plot is a new concept and the lessons are as pertinent today as they were 80 years ago. Cameron D. Miller, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Welcome to Pilotville, Louisiana, 1927, isolated outpost on the Mississippi River--a stilt village bounded by swampland to the horizon, accessible only by boat, an island of brotherly love in a sea of racism. Meet Hale Poser, a stranger with a bad hip who's come looking for his roots--a humble man, a righteous man, a miracle man. In the swamp beyond the cypress and the tupelo and veiled by Spanish moss lies a lingering evil. For years it slept in dreadful isolation. Now comes Hale Poser, and it will sleep no more. It will rain down on Pilotville, it will rise up like a river, and nothing but a miracle can stop this awful flood.