© 2024 KRCU Public Radio
90.9 Cape Girardeau | 88.9-HD Ste. Genevieve | 88.7 Poplar Bluff
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must-Reads: 'The River We Remember'

“If you visit the Alabaster River at sunrise or sunset, you’re likely to see the sudden small explosions of water where fish are feeding. Although there are many kinds of fish who make the Alabaster their home, the most aggressive are channel catfish. They’re mud suckers, bottom feeders, river vultures, the worst kind of scavengers. Channel cats will eat anything. This is the story of how they came to eat Jimmy Quinn.”

Those are some lines from the Prologue of William Kent Krueger’s novel The River We Remember. Jimmy Quinn was a wealthy landowner in the little town of Jewel, Minnesota. He was disliked by most people, including his family, but this day in 1958, when people have strong prejudices, rumor mongers decide that Native American WWII veteran Noah Bluestone who brought a Japanese wife back home after the war, is the murderer.

Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated WWII veteran does not believe that Noah killed Jimmy but can’t convince Noah to reveal what he does know. Some of the other characters are: Angie, who works at the local diner and her teenage son Scott; Del, Scott’s best friend who lives in a trailer park with his mother and new abusive husband; Charlie, the semi-retired attorney representing Noah; Marta, the dead man’s wife and her three children and Connie Graff, the sheriff’s deputy who assigns himself the task of protecting Noah’s wife, Kyoko.

As the jacket says, this book is “An unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home and a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, it is a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.”

If you’re looking for a story that will draw you in to small town America after the war, then you must read The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger.

Betty Martin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Lutheran pastor and his organist wife. Betty’s love of books was inspired by her father who read to all four children each night.