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River Runs Deep

Review

River Runs Deep

In RIVER RUNS DEEP by Jennifer Bradbury, 12-year-old Elias is sent to Dr. Cogan’s experimental underground hospital in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky to receive treatment for consumption (which today is called tuberculosis). The vapors from the cave are said to have healing properties. Some people do get better; many don’t. 
 
In addition to housing the hospital, the cave is a natural wonder that attracts tourists and a hide-out for runaway slaves. Even though slaves lead tourists through the caves, the tourists don’t know their true identities or anything about the patients. 
 
RIVER RUNS DEEP is easy to read and packed with a lot of info and a lot of action, making the book a real page-turner. 
Elias is warned to not wander through the cave by himself, but being a young, restless boy with a curious nature, he follows Stephen, one of the slaves, and inadvertently discovers the runaways. 
 
I really enjoyed reading this story. I had never heard of Dr. Crogan or the TB “clinic” that was set up inside Mammoth Cave; I think it’s a fascinating bit of history. As with all historical fiction, Bradbury mixed fiction and facts, and did so successfully. 
 
I also liked Bradbury’s writing style; she seamlessly weaves together several story lines --- that of the doctor and his clinic, Elias and his illness, the mystery of the hidden slaves and the mystery of why one of the patients, Mr. Pennyroyal is so interested in the water in the caves. All in all, RIVER RUNS DEEP is easy to read and packed with a lot of info and a lot of action, making the book a real page-turner. 

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on July 14, 2015

River Runs Deep
by Jennifer Bradbury

  • Publication Date: July 19, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
  • ISBN-10: 1442468254
  • ISBN-13: 9781442468252