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

The Back Porch Reader has flown the coop to soak up some tropic sun.
I’ll be back soon with new book reviews and recommendations. In the meantime, please enjoy this favorite selected from my GoodReads archives.


cover-tjklune-intothisriveridrownFive years ago, Benji Green lost his beloved father, Big Eddie, when his truck crashed into a river. Everyone called it an accident, but Benji knows it was more. Even years later, he’s buried in his grief, throwing himself into managing Big Eddie’s convenience store in the small-town of Roseland, Oregon. Surrounded by his mother and three aunts, he lives day to day, struggling to keep his head above water.

But Roseland is no ordinary place.

With ever more frequent dreams of his father’s death and waking visions of feathers on the river’s surface, Benji finds his definition of reality bending. He thinks himself haunted; by ghosts or memories, he can no longer tell. Not until a man falls from the sky, leaving the burning imprint of wings on the ground, does Benji begin to understand that the world is more mysterious than he ever imagined—and more dangerous. As uncontrollable forces descend on Roseland, they reveal long-hidden truths about friends, family, and the stranger Calliel—a man Benji can no longer live without.


Dates read:
Edition read:
March 24, 2013
Dreamspinner Press
Paranormal-Angels, M/M, GLBT+
258 e-book pages
1st person
June 19-20, 2015
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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This review originally posted on GoodReads June 20, 2015.

Damn. Just………

I feel like I’ve been pummeled with a wrecking ball.

So I typically sit on the back porch when I read. It’s my happy place. It’s serene, mostly. Being the middle of June, I can hear the summer bugs singing, frogs croaking. I can hear a neighbor’s grandkids’ gleeful squeals as they splash in their swimming pool…playing “shark” and Marco Polo, or whatever. Their dad tosses them into the deep end repeatedly – he’s getting too old for this, I hear him say. A few houses down a dog barks on occasion, I’m not sure he even knows why. It’s motherfucking hot…and humid. Stifling and soul sucking. But I have a ceiling fan and a cool drink, so it’s bearable…just.

There’s a summer storm coming tonight that ought to cool things down. They’re forecasting it to be pretty wicked. But it’s far away, for now, just heat lightning occasionally illuminating the night sky behind a haze of charcoal gray clouds. None of this matters. It barely registers. Because mostly, I get lost in my books.

I eat my dinner on the porch so I can continue reading. I had my plate propped on my chest as I was scrunched down in my kick-ass wicker lounger, my Kindle wedged between my knees. It is not a pretty picture – but it’s functional. Mostly.

Ever try eating while sobbing great wracking hiccoughing tears that convulse through your entire body? It’s not recommended. I’ll try to remember that.

This story was gorgeous from beginning to end. This was just ‘more’ of nearly anything I’ve ever read. More depth, more grief, more love, more loss, more emotion, more everything. The writing…this was a more elevated brand of TJ’s poetry that continues to amaze me. This was not an easy read because it was so much more. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it was to write.

I’ve lost people I’ve loved deeply – but never like this. I’ve known grief – but never to this magnitude. I’ve known heartache – but never has my heart been so shredded. Even though I know love – I’m not sure it’s ever been so total and complete.

I’ve been on a reading-tear of all things TJ Klune. This is my 5th title of his.

I am wrecked.

Tell me what you think!