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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Beautifully Written, 24 Nov 2012
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The River (Paperback)
It is 1958 and we are in Devon in a small village situated by a river; in a sinking boat on the river two children struggle to keep their heads above the water. Their parents, Robert and Isabel MacKinnon, are at home in their riverside property, unaware of the tragedy happening to their much-loved children. When the two children are found drowned, Robert and Isabel blame themselves and each other and find they are no longer able to live together as man and wife. However, bound together as they are in remorse and anger, they cannot entirely let go of each other and, understandably, neither of them can find it possible to really move forward from the tragic event. As time passes, it becomes clear that this terrible tragedy has not just affected Isabel and Robert, but has become woven into the lives of many of the inhabitants of the village. (No spoilers, we learn all of this in the first few pages of the book).

Some time later, Anna, a young, pregnant woman comes to the village looking for a retreat from London and an escape from an unsatisfactory love affair. As a temporary measure until she can find a house of her own, Anna moves into Isabel's home and, initially, the two women become close. However, once Anna's baby is born, the dynamics between Isabel and Anna alter considerably and, as Anna begins to uncover incidents from Isabel's past, she starts to feel very uneasy and unsettled. When Anna becomes attracted to Josef, the ruggedly handsome owner of the local inn, who was involved in the tragic drowning, a series of events follow which leaves Anna in a very precarious position.

Moving backwards and forwards in time from the 1950s to the 1980s, and with a large cast of interesting and beautifully depicted characters, this novel which has many different strands and a real sense of underlying tension running throughout the course of the story, makes for very absorbing reading. Tricia Wastvedt writes lyrically and evocatively of landscape and situation - both in a personal sense and of the wider community, and her fluent and graceful narrative drew me deeply into her engrossing and unsettling story.

4.5 Stars
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read. I did not anticipate the outcome of the story and was carried along by the narrative., 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The River (Paperback)
A very good read. I did not anticipate the outcome of the story and was carried along by the narrative. I have bought it as a Christmas present for several friends
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The River (Paperback)
excellent
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The River
The River by Tricia Wastvedt (Paperback - 1 Nov 2012)
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