Review: Into This River I Drown by T. J. Klune

At once an exploration of grief and faith, Into This River I Drown is one man's journey into the secrets of his father and discovering the strength to believe in the impossible.

Five years ago, Benji Green lost his beloved father, Big Eddie, who drowned when his truck crashed into a river. All called it an accident, but Benji thought it more. However, even years later, he is buried deep in his grief, throwing himself into taking over Big Eddie's convenience store in the small town of Roseland, Oregon. Surrounded by his mother and three aunts, he lives day by day, struggling to keep his head above water.

But Roseland is no ordinary place.

With ever-increasing dreams of his father's death and waking visions of feathers on the surface of a river, Benji's definition of reality is starting to bend. He thinks himself haunted, but whether by ghosts or memories, he can no longer tell. It's not until the impossible happens and a man falls from the sky and leaves the burning imprint of wings on the ground that he begins to understand that the world around him is more mysterious than he could have possibly imagined. It's also more dangerous, as forces beyond anyone's control are descending on Roseland, revealing long hidden truths about friends, family, and the man named Calliel who Benji is finding he can no longer live without.

Fangirl moment.

As an avid reader I am sometimes asked what my favourite book is and to be honest with you I find this an impossible question to answer. With all the amazing stories out there how do you pick just one?? I even find it hard to pick a favourite author, so many styles, so many different things to offer - oft times it will really depend on my mood of the day, did I want romance (always, always, the answer to that question is yes), did I want mystery, crime, humour, fantasy, a slow paced book, a fast paced book, something gruesome, something gentle....yep my reading mood changes more often than the weather. One author I have found though who covers most of the attributes above with his books is T.J. Klune.

Now T.J. is, without doubt, hands down, one of the funniest writers I have ever read in any genre. He also has an amazing knack of turning laughter to tears within a paragraph. Never have I seen humour and heartache sit so well alongside each other as I have in a T.J. Klune book. My favourite ever bit of funny is that dinner scene in Who We Are (BOATK 2). I would recommend this book for that alone.

Yet I haven't chosen one of his comedies to share with you, I have chosen Into this River I Drown. Why? Because it is beautiful. From the title and the front cover, to the very last word it is amazing. This is an old review, short and sweet but I hope I manage share with you what an amazing story this is.

Before I post the review though I would like to add that TJ and his partner Eric Arvin are still very much at the forefront of mine and my fellow unicorns minds still as Eric continues to recover from recent brain surgery. I'm sure most of you are aware of the story and I will just post a link to the Eric Arvin Support Fund for those who want to dontae to help pay for treatment and care for this wonderful couple.

Eric, TJ - your strength is amazing. Let's go, let's go, let's go.

The following review has previously been posted in various places.
Oh wow. This story is completely different from the other TJ Klune books I have read. Yet while it lacks his trademark humour it doesn't lack his supreme story-telling abilities. Nor his ability to bring his stories so emotionally to life. You will need tissues when you read this book, I warn you now.

Benji's life changes the day his adored dad dies. For five years he his swimming against a tide of grief. Or not really, he's being taken by the tide, drowning in his grief. Then Cal Blue shows up and Cal is anything but an ordinary man. In fact ordinary and man do not describe him at all. Benji's life turns in ways he could never imagine until he is given the chance to make choices - the kind of choices that are never easy.

I don't want to give away any spoilers so I won't elaborate but I would recommend this book. For those who have loved, for those who have loved and lost. For those who grieve and for those who have faith. And most specially for those who believe in love.


  1. One of my all-time favorites! Thanks for reviewing this beautiful book!

  2. Thank you Brandon. Every now and then there is a book that just stays with me, for a variety of reasons, and these books I want to share with others. Such beautiful, beautiful writing.