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The River of No Return [Kindle Edition]

Bee Ridgway
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An utterly engrossing historical romance from debut novelist Bee Ridgeway, The River of No Return is a must-read.


'Time is like a river. It always flows in one direction.'


What if everything you thought was certain was not?

1812: On a lonely battlefield in Spain, Lord Nicholas Falcott, Marquess of Blackdown, is about to die .... But, the next moment, he inexplicably jumps forward in time, nearly two hundred years - very much alive. Taken under the wing of a mysterious organisation, The Guild, he receives everything he could ever need under the following conditions:

He can't go back.

He can't go home.

He must tell no one.


Accepting his fate, Nicholas begins a life of luxury as a twenty-first century New York socialite, living happily thus for the next ten years. But, when an exquisite wax sealed envelope brings a summons from the Alderwoman of The Guild, Nicholas is forced to confront his nineteenth century past.


Back in 1815, Julia Percy's world has fallen apart. Her enigmatic grandfather, the Earl of Darchester, has died and left her with a closely guarded secret, one she is only now discovering - the manipulation of time. In terrible danger from unknown enemies, Julia flees her home to the sanctuary of neighbouring Falcott House. In this strange place Julia and a recently returned Nicholas are drawn to each other and together they realise how little Julia knew about her beloved grandfather and begin to understand his ominous last words...


'Pretend.'



Bee Ridgeway's The River Of No Return is a truly unforgettable novel. If you loved The Time Traveler's Wife or The Night Circus then prepare to be swept away by this stunning debut novel.


Bee Ridgway grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. She attended Oberlin College (B.A.), then worked for a year as an editorial assistant at Elle magazine. She studied literature at Cornell University (M.A. and Ph.D.). She has worked at Bryn Mawr College since 2001. She lives in Philadelphia, PA.


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Review

A thrill ride (Vanity Fair)

With a fabulous cast of characters, an original and imaginative storyline and eloquent prose, Bee Ridgway has created a memorable work of fiction that is a delight to read . . . This is a book not to be missed. (Melissa, www.confessionsofanavidreader.blogspot.co.uk)

A highly entertaining romp; her historical details are accurate, and the character are believable. Fans of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series should enjoy this time-traveling romantic adventure, which may also attract readers who like historical fiction with a twist. (Library Journal)

Ridgway offers a well-crafted blend of science fiction, romance, mystery, and historical fiction. (Publishers Weekly)

Ridgway spins an intricate narrative in elegant prose that combines the best of various genres - spy thriller, historical romance, science fiction, fantasy. Throughout, her juxtaposition of past and present is dazzling and often amusing... The River of No Return has the feel of an instant classic, along the lines of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Readers will wish they could stop time to savor every page (The Washington Post)

Ridgway is a splendid writer . . . The River of No Return is the kind of book that is meant to be read under the covers with a flashlight, or, in the pale grown-up substitution, staying up much later than you know is good for you (Chicago Reader)

Bee Ridgway's debut novel delightfully removes the boundaries of life as we know it and dares us to dream (American Way magazine)

An engrossing adventure, with mystery, romance, humor, and impeccable historical detail. (The Boston Global)

Beautifully written with a real sense of rhythm to the words . . . It's easy to get lost in the story from the first chapter. (Historical Novel Society)

Her tale and the world she's crafted unfold gracefully and compellingly through precise yet lush prose. The result is a novel that fans of hardcore fantasy and literary fiction alike can get behind. The River of No Return is a gorgeous, sweeping debut that is easy to get lost in. (Bookpage)

Ridgway has a light and clever touch. . . . The River of No Return satisfies. (Newsday)

Between Kate Atkinson's Life After Life and Bee Ridgway's The River of No Return, time-travel novels are hot. (Newsday)

Bee Ridgway's deliciously fun debut covers ground similar to other smart bodice rippers such as Outlander and A Discovery of Witches. (All You magazine)

Ridgway is a splendid writer . . . The River of No Return is the kind of book that is meant to be read under the covers with a flashlight, or, in the pale grown-up substitution, staying up much later than you know is good for you. (Chicago Reader)

In her stellar debut, Ridgway manages the permutations of the time-travel trope with originality and aplomb. (Booklist)

A highly entertaining romp; [Ridgway's] historical details are accurate, and the characters are believable. Fans of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series should enjoy this time-traveling romantic adventure, which may also attract readers who like historical fiction with a twist. (Library Journal)

A compelling race through time in a historical world turned upside down-the Regency as you've never seen it before. Take one nobleman and one gently born lady; add time travel, intrigue, a vast conspiracy, and a wicked way with words; shake; and serve. (Lauren Willig, author of The Pink Carnation series)

While on its shining surface The River of No Return is a fantastical time traveling page turner, it is also a novel that takes on complex issues of culture and nationalism and how or memories form us. And it is a riveting love story to boot. Bee Ridgway is a treasure and her debut is a triumph. (Jennifer Gilmore, author of Golden Country and Something Red)

The River of No Return is an innovative and sophisticated first novel. At the heart of this entertaining story--set primarily and convincingly in Regency-era England--is a serious and timely question: what does it mean to be on the winning side of history? (William Galperin, Professor of English, Rutgers University, and author of The Historical Austen)

The only thing more fun than reading this book would be to actually travel through time yourself. Erudite and beautifully crafted, The River of No Return is at the same time a lush, riotous fantasy. Ridgway's ingenuity and charm are apparently without limit. (Heather Love, R. Jean Brownlee associate professor in the humanities, University of Pennsylvania, and author of Feeling Backward)

About the Author

Bee Ridgway grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. She attended Oberlin College (B.A.), then worked for a year as an editorial assistant at Elle magazine. She studied literature at Cornell University (M.A. and Ph.D.). She spent several years living in the U.K. during her studies. She has worked at Bryn Mawr College since 2001. She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1552 KB
  • Print Length: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (23 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ADXDZWO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,887 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time travel plus - exciting and plausible 14 Feb. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love the imagination that goes into time travel stories and this one for me found a new dimension. I loved this book and found it exhilarating and absorbing, from the moment when Lord Nicholas Falcott finds himself torn from certain death on a European battlefield in 1812 and deposited in London in 2013 to an ending when, back in England after many adventures, he finds 2013 is not quite as he left it. Finding himself a 'time jumper' he learns of the Guild that advises and controls people like him, is trained in the ways of the world he has reached, told firmly that he can never return to his own time, spends ten happy years in America, and then finds himself after all sent back in time to three years after he left, as a Guild agent investigating a parallel and supposedly rogue group of time travellers, the Ofan. Plunged into Regency England, but with his memories of the 21st century intact he finds intrigue, love and explanations, many of them suspect. I very much enjoyed Nick's approach to his situation and the way he deals with whatever comes his way.
This is romantic fantasy and I did find the romance snarled up the story at times, but that is just my reaction. Nick's romantic interest is Julia, a girl reared by a very strange grandfather who finds herself at his death, in possession of certain powers, mainly the ability to 'freeze' and manipulate time. As always in these stories, Nick and Julia do not confide in each other immediately, which leads to confusion, action and a rattling good story.
I loved the detail in this book. I thought the time travel element was well worked out and quite fascinating.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. K. A. P. Wright TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This has been described as a story of love and time travel. It is, but it is also more than that - thriller, ethical debate into the nature of what is right and wrong, adventure story.

The first people we meet are Julia and her grandfather, the Earl of Darchester, who is dying. We learn quite a lot about them and their relationship and that he can play with time. Then, fed up with the process of dying, Darchester speeds up time and dies, leaving Julia at the mercy of the new earl, the vile Eamon.

Then we move forward in time to New England in 2013 where we meet Nick Davenant, farm landlord, rich dilettante who is prepared to sleep with the new cheese inspector (fortuitously young and passably attractive) to ensure that their illegal soft cheeses are not discovered. Lying awake, beside the sleeping cheese inspector, Nick reviews his life and he has a lot of life to review - in 1812 about to be killed on a battlefield in the Peninsula War he has jumped two hundred years into the future. He has been met by representatives of the Guild who whisk him off to Chile to indoctrinate him in the ways of the twenty-first century. He is told that he may never go back to England, but will be resettled in the USA with a massive income. All he has to do is obey the rules:

There is No Return, Tell No One, Uphold the Rules.

It all seems very simple and Nick loves the life of the rich in 2013. The only thing that has not gone well is that his two friends, Leo and Meg, having expressed criticism of the Guild have disappeared. He fears that they have been killed by an individual they have nicknamed Mr Mibbs, who has talked to Leo and has terrified them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - I wanted to love it! 29 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really wanted to love this book. In this digital, slimline age, there's something really satisfying about holding a doorstop-book in your hands and getting ready to delve in. None of this pussy footing around with a novella! I set out with all the commitment a great read requires.

I was willing to overlook the slightly slow and clumsy first few chapters- after all, setting up for time travel is no mean feat... and when the story kicked in, I was hooked, or so I thought... At the time of my first tweet whilst reading this book, I said that this was a novel for which it would be worth investing in the hardback. I'm very sad to say, I have to retract that statement.

There are two main problems with this book. The first that it is too long- I've already said that I like a good, long read, but using the words of another reviewer- this is a long book with an excellent smaller book desperate to break out. Don't get me wrong- parts of it were thrilling, and had me reading at all hours. Unfortunately, these were outweighed by other parts which felt like wading through tar. The second problem, and very much linked to the first is that this book ignores the "show don't tell" writers' 101. There was exciting stuff going on, but it seemed to be happening mainly between the chapter and scene breaks- only to be reported back to the reader second or third hand.

Finally, the ending... if this is meant to be a stand-alone novel, I was left extremely unsatisfied with a bucket-full of plot points (the most interesting ones) left unsettled, or even unattended to. If it is meant to be a part of a series or trilogy... I just don't have the patience to wade through more of the same to get to the answers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept
About to be killed in the Battle of Salamanca in 1812, Lord Blackdown time jumps to 2013 without realising that he is capable of doing so. Read more
Published 2 months ago by LEP
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Top Banana!
Published 6 months ago by Tiffany Groves
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely excellent!
A brilliant book, which flew past and kept me well and truly hooked. Excellently written. A great read for anyone who loved Time Traveller's Wife.
Published 8 months ago by Victoria Pleasant
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite book
Brilliant read.Love this genre and cannot wait for the next episode.Find it hard to believe this is a first novel,but hope that it will be the first of many.
Published 12 months ago by lala
3.0 out of 5 stars Jane Austen meets the Matrix
This book is Mr. Darcy (he of the Jane Austen dashing good looks) meets science fiction. The science fiction piece covers the ability of certain individuals to move back and forth... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Elizabeth Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
A great book filled with vivid characters and locations. This was the first novel I read on my brand new kindle. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
This was a book I did not want to put down. Original storyline.I hope the author writes more like this.
Published 18 months ago by eglantine
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling To The Very End
One of those books where the end comes too soon. Although not gripping at first the story soon pulls the reader in to the world of time travelling, the Guild who controls those... Read more
Published 18 months ago by P. M. Ryans
3.0 out of 5 stars Time Travel
This is a large book which could have been condensed down considerably. The plot was good, taken from a Spanish battlefield in 1813 an English marquis arrives in the future 21st... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Val Birbeck
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written but left me lacking...
Firstly, I would like to say that the strapline on the back of this book literally made me jump for joy as I really truly loved The Snow Child, Night Circus and especially The... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Eventfulfire
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