Sunday, June 23, 2013

Twixt the Road and the River by Joann Ellen Sisco

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Signalman Publishing (May 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935991604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935991601
May 7, 2012

This book is also available as an e-book.

May 7, 2012

The War Eagle River starts from an underground stream at the top of Five Mile Hill, cascades off rock ledges, pauses in sparkling pools and joins with the rills and trickles on the way. The rushing stream plunges over a cliff and lands in a valley in clouds of sparkling spray. It courses across the valley, turning the grinding wheel at Applegate's Grist Mill before emptying into a much larger river headed toward the Mississippi. The small town of River Bend clusters around the rive where its hardworking folks interact as in every small town. Some bad, some good and some trying to be good. And the river rolls on. Author Joann Ellen Sisco perfectly captures the voice and soul of the southern Ozarks. People are people, no matter where they are, but the subtle culture and expression of language is unique to a place and time and no one masters this better for this distinctive section of America than Sisco.

My take on this book:
"Twixt the Road and the River" is the story of sixteen year old Amy Catherine Darnell and nineteen year old Johnny Scott. Seems like they have been dating forever, but Johnny says that he can't get married until he finds the right piece of land to purchase. While he is interested in prime river bottom land, he keeps looking at land on Five Mile Hill. Amy and her grandmother have been working on a wedding quilt , and when Amy shares with her grandmother Johnny's dilemma she provides Amy with some sage advice on how to get Johnny on the right track, not only in finding his land, but also on how to get him to do what Amy wants while letting him think it's his idea. Amy also sets a few goals for herself, deciding that she wants to study to get her teaching certificate and get a job working in the Mercantile in River Bend to earn some extra money. Will Johnny ever find the land he desires, and what about Amy will she earn her teaching certificate, and what gifts does Amy's grandmother bestow upon the pair?

Joann Ellen Sisco creates a down home,country story that effortlessly transported me back to a simpler time. I immediately fell in love with the characters that the author introduced me to. Johnny and Amy seemed so mature for their age, they both knew what they wanted and weren't afraid of hard work in order to achieve their dreams.The author provided glimpses of the day to day struggles as Johnny works as a coal hauler,and Amy tries to land a job at the Mercantile, while studying for her exam. Amy's grandmother was a wise soul. Because she lived with Amy and her family she had a very close relationship with Amy, who learned many valuable lessons while they sat together working on the quilt. The love felt between Amy and her grandmother was so easy to see, the author allowed us to glimpse the special bond between the two. The family feel of the story was evident in the way that family took care of each other, and often stepped up to help each other out. I found myself totally caught up in the setting of this story, it was easy to see that the author certainly loves the area and the characters that she writes about. The dialect and descriptions allowed the story to really come to life. Overall, what I found within the pages of "Twixt the Road and the River" was a sweet, clean read that provided laughs but also allowed a bit of sorrow as well. I felt like I was  transported to a simpler time where families meant everything, where small communities were the norm, and women rarely worked outside the home, but if a young lady had enough gumption and spunk could achieve whatever dream she set her heart and head to! While the author provides a nice ending, I felt like I had given up a friendship and was left wanting more of these characters that had endeared themselves into my heart!

Reviewed for


  1. This sounds like a wonderful story, thanks for sharing, have not read this author before. sounds like they started young together huh??

    Paula O(

  2. Pol, it was historical fiction so the age made sense, it seems like people matured so much faster back when. Thanks so much for dropping by, I bet you just might like this author, her stories reflect clean, honest, family style fiction that takes place during a much simpler time.


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