Harsimran kaur ON April 18, 2023 , IN BOOK REVIEW, GO AS A RIVER BY SHELLEY READ-FICTION
Life is destined to be sometimes an adamant rock unappeased by the capricious galore of the swinging fleet of the rain drops or the celestial winds incoherently profligating their ecstasy. On the flip side, life can form a swift-sustaining rhythm of tapestries like an unending stream of river. The cacophony of discordant watercourse acts as an indelible patron to life’s resistance to an awkward silence we all fear.
Why not flow as a river cushioning the distress and poignancy under the hard-cutting skirmishes of the tidal waves?
Victoria Nash still remembers what Wilson Moon once told her, ‘Go as a River’. During the tender age of seventeen when the mind is inconspicuous to the ‘life battles’ and rigorously plucks every association to be a testimony of its belonging, we forget the ephemeral proclivity of it. We descent our own rhyme and reason but forget what is music to our ears could be someone’s lethal disturbance.
Victoria, under the carapsse of her unperturbed existence, dutifully attending to her household chores and succumbing to the priggishness of its male members is fortuitously embraced by a strikingly handsome Wilson Moon. The two fall in love around the lush green pastures of the Colorado countryside, invigorated by the siphoning beauty of Orchids and high-roofed mountains. They don’t owe anything to each other but sway unflinchingly like a river trying to explore its worthiness.
The river does flow but not without what consumes it. Some feverishly decline the passage and swear to be a pernicious rock upheld by its ego to be a stubborn begging bowl. Life eludes them and they in turn mock it. While some courageously swim the gallant waves, imperceptibly fighting the typhoon to flow ahead. They are ready to conquer the concurrence of delirious moments that eventually define the further need for survival.
Victoria is consumed by Wil’s unprecedented departure from the world, killed by the men with whom Victoria shares her very existence. She still lives, breathes and sustains—isn’t all this sine qua non to attend life no matter how hard the roof has fallen on you or how despicably the clouds have drenched your soul by its illegitimate wandering.
The incident kills her too. Wounded from inside and carrying a secret inside her womb, she leaves from where she belongs, to settle high up in the mountains around the dilapidated ruins, deplorable stenches and an incoherent terrain of dirt and mud that lingers to her as a disparaging solace. A baby born away from the throttle of life—a struggle she is unable to keep up with. She bargains with her heart to let the child cradle in another mother’s arm. Her flow among the trajectories of life is not suspended by bereavement but a gradual stream of making a fine omelette from the repository eggs. ‘Go as a River’ by Shelley Read expounds on the very intention to cup life and not crumple it to our rationale that sometimes is only an illusion.
A father whom she adores, a brother who mocks at her love interest, a child—her blood sapling—lost in a foreboding to give him a better life, a lover whom she never forgets cascading his thoughts in every realm of her life and the peach orchids that succulently are the only relief to a woman who has lost everything; Victoria Nash, indefatigable and invincible—a character conceivable and comprehended in the trajectory of hardships.
A journey, unpretentious and usurped, imperturbably traversed by Victoria to give meaning to what is left—broken and banal. Her actions, her motives are not malicious mis-fits to combat what has been taken away; her senses divulge on a path that resuscitates to beckon undeterred manoeuvres of hope and sanguinity. She stands tall; regrets as a pierced nail not to bulge any further. She further swims the tumultuous tides grinding her hard in the circular tornadoes to come out drop by drop to ledge ahead.