The River Series

The Saviors- and Why They Are Important to The River Series

Now, savior might seem like a sacrilegious word to call someone other than Christ but bear with me. According to Google, a savior is “a person who saves someone… from danger”. In that case, both Franco and Robert are saviors to Daniella.

The Brother Saviors: Franco vs. Robert
Early in the series, Franco becomes Daniella’s one trusted caregiver. He fights for her- literally. He lies beside her in bed and comforts her (his actions are totally platonic and brotherly). But, sadly, Franco dies and Daniella, suddenly, has no protector or comforter.

But God sends her another.


Though done unwittingly, he saves her. But the saving he was to bring to Daniella wasn’t about just a singular moment in time- it was meant to be ongoing. He should have taken up the role as her brother in a similar way that Franco did. He should have comforted her and “fought for her” so to speak. That was, after all, what Daniella desired- and needed- of him.

But Robert, instead, wanted to be her lover.

There is tension, then, throughout Bordertown Gypsy and Lynchtown Wolf in which Daniella rejects Robert’s erotic love but desires his brotherly love while, at the same time, he rejects her sisterly loves but desires her erotic love. The reader shakes their head and wonders, “Will they ever get together? Or, at least, will they ever just be friends?”

In Mobtown Player, Daniella and Robert do an awkward manipulative love dance in which Daniella still desires to be his sister, but Robert resists, so she wields her ability to attract Robert with her body in order to lure him in, and Robert takes the bait and entertains the idea that she might finally be giving herself to him- that is, until he decides he hates her. But a strange thing soon happens.

Unexpectedly, Daniella becomes Robert’s savior.
Daniella as the Savior
Their roles are flip-flopped, and Robert cannot, now, no matter how much he may desire, be her savior anymore. He has been unthroned, so to speak, from that role- and he’ll never get it again.

Daniella, of course, saves Robert- but only once. When given the opportunity a second time, she rejects him (just as he rejected her in Lynchtown Wolf when he discovered the secrets of her past). At that point, she is removed as his savior.

So, how does Franco come back into all this?

Franco died and was no longer Daniella’s savior. Much later, Robert was no longer Daniella’s savior. AND Daniella was no longer Robert’s savior.

So, why does that matter?

Because Robert “died”, too.
The REAL Savior
Robert’s “death” was the death of these characters trying to save one another. At last, Robert and Daniella both finally began relying on their real Savior for saving (as in Jesus).

When Daniella meets Nathan (Robert) again later, neither are in a position of needing saving because they’ve both already learned to lean on God for that. So, now, finally (at last!) they can both enter into their relationship as equals (in regard to their need for being saved, that is). Neither has the upper hand on the other, and neither tries to gain it, either.

Daniella and Nathan form a unique and beautiful partnership at this point. (It’s about time!) They are both content with their roles as equals (in the realm of salvation) and, instead, they become “saviors” for others (Desma, Raymond and Genny). And when the time comes for their roles as saviors to end, their relationship does not. It endures.

And this does something strange and miraculous for Daniella. Through her partnership with Nathan, God begins to heal some of the pain from her past that she’s buried (and even thought impossible to heal). This never would have happened had Nathan been still pursuing his erotic desires for her or if he or she still needed the other to be their savior.  

In the lovely end, when Nathan gives Daniella the brotherly love she desires, she gives her erotic love to him. The bond they share, then, is complete with brotherly (agape) love and erotic (eros) love. Thus, it is a perfect marriage.

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