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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
January River is a work of fiction penned in the literary style by author Bernard Jan. Focusing on central themes of family, friendships, and secrets that we hold deep, this work is aimed at mature readers and packs a real emotional punch. The central protagonist is Ethan, who as a child had a friend go missing under dire circumstances, and later loses his loving dog. Traumatized by these events, we watch Ethan grow up and try to lead the life he’d planned for himself, but slowly his doubts about the past begin to creep in. To reconcile it and have a quiet mind at last, he’ll have to dig up some shocking secrets and finally confront reality.
Author Bernard Jan has crafted a unique work of fiction quite unlike anything else I’ve ever read. The blend of genres woven into this highly literary piece delivers emotional realism, dark secretive thriller moments, and a deep and meaningful discussion of our connection to the natural world, all at once. The character development is also stellar, especially for Ethan's speech and thought presentation as we delve into his past, present, and his mental state. Ultimately the tale does deliver some really warm moments and excellent resolutions, blending the light and dark aspects of life to create a layered and beautiful work. Overall, I would highly recommend January River to fans of immersive realistic fiction, heartfelt tales of love and friendship, and psychologically, emotionally open narrative voices.