Fleeing the ravages of wartime Vienna, Pepa and her family find safe harbor in the small town of El Castillo, on the banks of the San Juan River in Nicaragua. There, her parents seek to eradicate yellow fever while Pepa falls under the spell of the jungle and the town's eccentric inhabitants. But Pepa's life--including her relationship with local boy Guillermo--comes to a halt when her family abruptly moves to New York, leaving the young girl disoriented and heartbroken.As the years pass, Pepa's and Guillermo's lives diverge, and Guillermo's homeland slips into chaos. Nicaragua soon becomes engulfed in revolutionary fervor as the Sandinista movement vies for the nation's soul. Guillermo's daughter transforms into an accidental revolutionary. Pepa's son defies his parents' wishes and joins the revolution in Nicaragua, only to disappear into the jungle. It will take decades before the fates of these two families converge again, revealing how love, grief, and passion are intertwined with a nation's destiny.Spanning generations and several wars, Only the River explores the way displacement both destroys two families and creates new ones, sparking a revolution that changes their lives in the most unexpected ways.
Anne Raeff is a bestselling author who has received numerous awards, including the 2015 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the California Book Award's Silver Medal in Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica, among other places. A child of immigrants, she draws on her family's history as refugees from war and the Holocaust in much of her writing. She currently resides with her wife and two cats in San Francisco.
Cynthia Farrell, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, is a singer and voice actor best known for her roll as Catalina in the video games Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. She has also performed off Broadway and has released a number of records.