News & Events

Special Author Event with Shelley Read

Join us for this wonderful evening with our local gem of an author, Shelley Read!

About the Book, Go as a River:

Set amid Colorado’s wild beauty, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a resilient young woman whose life is changed forever by one chance encounter. A tragic and uplifting novel of love and loss, family, and survival—and hope—for readers of Great Circle, The Four Winds, and Where the Crawdads Sing.

Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal
land and determined to live as he chooses. Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains, where she struggles to survive in the wilderness, with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland—its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.

Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home—where least expected.

About the Author:

Shelley Read is a fifth-generation Coloradoan who lives with her family in the Elk Mountains of the Western Slope. She was a senior lecturer at Western Colorado University for nearly three decades, where she taught writing, literature, environmental studies, and Honors, and was a founder of the Environment & Sustainability major and a support program for first-generation and at-risk students. Shelley holds degrees in writing and literary studies from the University of Denver and Temple University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. She is a regular contributor to Crested Butte Magazine and Gunnison Valley Journal and has written for the Denver Post and a variety of publications. Now in her 50s, she finally returned to the novel she’d started many years ago. She writes:

“This novel gets at the heart of what is most valuable to me and what I think the world needs now: a strong connection to nature, a belief in love, and a deep faith in personal resilience. I hope that my novel
will leave readers exploring some of the relevant issues of our time— displacement, prejudice, and notions of progress; the value of women, mothers, and the natural world; resilience in the face of adversity; and,
of course, the extraordinary power of love.”

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