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The River of No Return [Hardcover]

Bee Ridgway
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 May 2013

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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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (23 May 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0718176987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718176983
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 490,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time travel plus - exciting and plausible 14 Feb 2013
By Penny Waugh TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. K. A. P. Wright TOP 500 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Multi-layered page turner 17 April 2013
By marcoscu TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Clever, engaging and very readable - if not entirely original and unpredictable - with a little bit of Time Travellers Wife, a little bit of Jonathan Strange. Georgette Heyer is an acknowledged influence - but then, what is entirely original? Every author is inspired by the stories that went before. The River of No Return is a time travel book with a big love story at its heart and a dash of espionage and intrigue. It's a big book (584 pages) but a fast and easy read. A genuine page-turner with heart and soul.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous roller coaster of a read! 12 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover
This was a fabulous roller coaster of a read. It's fast paced, exciting and very much a romp through time. It begins with the Marquess of Blackdown, Lord Nicholas Falcott, time-travelling to the 21st century from 1815 to avoid being killed in battle and his being enrolled in a society called 'The Guild' who specialise in such people as him. He is told he can never return to his previous life but one day he receives a summons which negates this rule. He then finds himself once again in battle, but in this instance against time itself!

Time slip/dual timeframe novels are one of my favourite genres and this book exceeded my expectations. I found it an imaginative and absorbing tale, evocatively told and it had a good sense of time and place in both the present day and the 19th century. It was intriguing, believable and I was easily transported between the eras.

There's a good element of mystery to the story and I loved that no-one was quite who they seemed. The characters were well drawn and interesting. They felt very real and came vividly to life, a sign of a good author for me.

A thrilling historical fantasy adventure with a smidgen of romance, an excellent debut. It was a definite page turner! I look forward with eager anticipation to Bee Ridgway's next instalment in this wonderful new series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 23 days 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 5 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 5 months ago by P. Stokes
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 7 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 8 months ago by Eventfulfire
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Time Travel Novel.
On the back of my copy it says if you liked The Time Traveler's Wife or The Night Circus or The Snow Child you will enjoy this novel. Read more
Published 9 months ago by JoMaynard
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning: This is only the start of the story
Time travel and regency romance collide, in this story of unusual talents and secret battles, where rules seem made only to be broken. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Book Gannet
4.0 out of 5 stars Big read, Big Subject
I was daunted when this book arrived in the post as it was huge in size and heavy too - but it took only a few days of my holiday to read the lot! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Both the Macs
4.0 out of 5 stars For once, a clever love story, for those who 'hate' love stories.
I'll be honest with you, right from the beginning, I'm not one for 'love stories' in my literature: 'girl meets boy, boy's an idiot/oaf/rich egotist, girl pines, boy realises... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hobbes199
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept
I really enjoyed this book about Nicholas who is about to die on the battlefield in 1812 and suddenly finds himself jumping forward almost 200 years through time. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sarah Lambert
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