The Art of Rivers {A Book Review}


**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own. 



Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.



Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children's minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.


First and foremost, it is important to note that this is book #3 in the Coastal Hearts series. However, I must admit I would never have guessed as much as I read it. In fact, even though I knew it was part of a series, I’d assumed it was book number one. I didn’t in the slightest have that feeling of missing something as can often be found when you begin reading a series out of order.Though I must admit that I now look forward to reading now just more in the series but more by this author in general.

Addiction is not an easy subject. Chances are most of us have been touched by the epidemic in one way or another- be it alcohol or drugs, a friend, a family member or even ourselves. In my own life and family I have seen the devastation it can cause and the heartbreak left behind. For some of us, it can be pretty easy to blame the addict. They made that choice to start using in the first place after all. I’ll admit that I struggle with that line of thinking myself...but I think this is why books such as this one are so important. Our primary characters Rivers and Cooper have both had their lives greatly impacted by addiction, though their experiences are on completely opposite sides of the issue. Cooper had lived the life of an addict and come through it with a passion to help others in those same circumstances. Rivers had lost everything due to the actions of addicts, and found herself with little compassion for those in the midst of the struggle.  Through both of their unique experiences, this book beautifully takes a look at ALL sides of addiction… the good, the bad, the ugly and the hopeful. It reminds us that addiction affects not just the addict, but those around them too. Drugs and alcohol can steal so much, but there is hope to come out of it. And in Jesus there is forgiveness for all who seek it.

This truly was a fantastic read that I think is so relevant to what is going on in our world today. Janet W. Ferguson has taken on this difficult, ugly topic and turned it into a beautiful story of hope that is so needed. I would certainly recommend this book to all, and I look forward to reading more in the series.

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