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Some readers might feel judgmental toward Jacob, River Leah, and Rachel, because of their inability to extricate themselves from the unhealthy relationship tangle they create. River’s peace-loving nature renders her tolerant of conditions that are holding her back in life. Rachel’s childish dependence wears on everyone’s nerves, but ensures her a place to live.

And Jake’s well-honed ability to bury his head in the sand keeps him oblivious to problems that cry out for his attention. The leader of my writers’ group was so aggravated with Jake’s behavior that she suggested I deal with him by kicking him down a flight of stairs. But even though he needs to have his world shaken up a bit, I’m not sure he deserves such a violent fate. The guy does have a spark of goodness in him.

However, I’d venture to say that we’ve all had times of being as stuck and immobilized as this dysfunctional trio.

The one thing I like about the relationships among the three main characters in Rachel’s Song is the harmonious blending of their diverse spiritual backgrounds. In spite of their many problems, the fact that Rachel is Jewish, Jake is Mennonite, and River is the daughter of a Shaman is never a source of friction for them. In this atmosphere, young Thor is able to develop his own set of deeply held beliefs.

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