The Patience of Rivers (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Joseph Freda

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393051766, 352pp.

Publication Date: February 17, 2003

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


“Joseph Freda is a remarkably gifted storyteller.” —Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls

An irresistible novel about an upstate New York river community and a never-to-be-forgotten summer of change. It's the summer of 1969, and it feels like the rules have been suspended. The Woodstock festival is revving up at a neighbor's farm, the rock-and-roll culture is in full swing, astronauts are landing on the moon, and young men make plans to go to college . . . or to war. As eighteen-year-old Nick Lauria works the family campgrounds and leads canoe trips on the Delaware River, he feels the sting of first love and the fear-turned-pain of his friend's letters from Vietnam. His parents, meanwhile, struggle to keep the family business-and themselves-intact against the blandishments and secret dealings of their business partner. This is a novel of events on the verge. By turns boisterous and tender, sprawling and deeply familiar, its center is a world of young people growing up, a family falling apart, and a sun-dappled town in its final years before development arrives.