Bilingual and Literacy Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type

Book Review

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Jennifer Bradbury’s River Runs Deep is a pre–Civil War mystery that envelopes the reader in the story of Elias Harrigan, a twelve-year-old boy who is ill with consumption (tuberculosis). Unfortunately for Elias, he lives in an era that predates modern medicine. In a last-ditch effort to save his life, Elias is sent to Kentucky to be treated by Dr. John Croghan. Though Dr. Croghan employs several unusual treatments, he primarily believes that the Mammoth Cave, in which his practice is housed, will prove beneficial for his patients. Elias is the youngest of Dr. Croghan’s patients and soon becomes restless and perhaps even a little stir-crazy as he begins to believe that someone is speaking to him from outside his hut. Luckily for Elias, the doctor prescribes some exercise, and he is allowed to venture around the Mammoth Cave with a few of the doctor’s most trusted slaves. Yet Elias’s association with the slaves begins to draw suspicion. Ultimately, Elias’s health, trustworthiness, and loyalty are tested as the novel unfolds.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

First Opinions, Second Reactions



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