The Jericho River is my latest book to land in my mailbox courtesy of Rebecca Brown and The Cadence Group (link).
And so is The Jericho River. Both a novel and a history of Western Civilization, it’s won multiple awards, including first place at the London Book Festival and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
The Jericho River flows through a magical world shaped by myth and history. Young Jason Gallo sails the river on a dangerous quest to rescue his estranged father. He battles minotaurs and pirates, flees barbarians, stumbles into mummies’ tombs, and outwits fairies, philosophers, and scientists. Along the way, he finds love and betrayal, faces the legacy of a broken family — and flees a hidden foe who threatens all he holds dear.
But Jason’s tale is more than an adventure story. The river flows like a timeline, carrying the young man through historic lands — Sumer, Babylonia, ancient Greece, Medieval Europe, Napoleon’ empire, and many others — all in chronological order, tracing the history of Western Civilization, from its Middle Eastern origins to the modern era. Professor Gallo, Jason’s father, is a historian, and his notes outline the journey, revealing the truth about Cleopatra, King Arthur, and the fall of the Roman Empire. He explains how Snow White began as a goddess and why Eve was created from Adam’s rib, as well as the origins of coffee, the cat, chivalry, the Internet, Atlantis — and much more.