in Historical fiction by
For some people it is the ocean, some the desert, some mountains.    For Ralph Luikart, husband of author Marcy Luikart, it was always the Big River calling to him. A few years back, Marcy helped him fulfill a lifelong dream of building a raft and floating down the Mississippi River, and from that adventure came her first published novel, “River Braids.”

“River Braids,” is the story of a former Midwesterner (like the author, who spent much of her life in Illinois and Iowa but now calls Santa Barbara home) who returns to his roots along the Mississippi River and uncovers the truth behind the family’s legend of his grandfather Joe rowing in the 1904 Olympics.   “River Braids” weaves back and forth between current time and the St. Louis Worlds’ Fair and Olympics of 1904, just as the current of the river weaves back and forth among the islands, creating and destroying as it flows.

In Marcy’s previous appearance on Writers’ Voices, in 2006, she enlightened us on how to achieve publishing success with short stories in literary magazines. “River Braids” is her first published novel.


Monica Hadley is co-founder, host and producer of Writers' Voices on KRUU 100.1 fm in Fairfield, Iowa, a community low power radio station, and webmaster at

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