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Book Review | The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick

Liz Fenwick has created another fabulous world in The River Between Us. 

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Book cover for The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick.  The river at sunset with a cottage standing on one of the banks looking over the river
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08N5MXQXK
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HQ (10 Jun. 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3402 KB

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Theo has bought a tumbledown cottage on the banks of the river Tamar which divides Cornwall and Devon. The peace and tranquillity of Boatman’s Cottage, nestled by the water, is just what she needs to heal.

Yet soon after her arrival, Theo a stash of hidden letters tied with a ribbon, untouched for more than a century. The letters – sent from the battlefields of France during WW1 – tell of a young servant from the nearby manor house, Abbotswood, and his love for a woman he was destined to lose.

As she begins to bring Boatman’s Cottage and its gardens back to life, Theo pieces together a story of star-crossed lovers played out against the river, while finding her own new path to happiness.

The River Between Us beautifully explores the mystery and secrets of a long-forgotten love affair, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton.

Book Review

I loved everything about The River Between Us, so much so that my dreams carried on the story, and awake, my thoughts often returned to Theo and Alice.

Narrations in the historical past, recent past and 2019 lead us through an emotional minefield.

Alice’s love story is poignant.  She’s a woman who isn’t afraid to break through society’s expectations but she does pay the price through isolation.  She’s so consumed by emotion that she’s not able to think outside of that rawness.  Her ultimate sacrifice shows her strength and her maturity.  So much suspense in this timeline!

54 year old Theo is re-learning who she is and is on her path of finding the strength and confidence to allow herself to be that person.   The community at Horsebridge and specifically Abbotswood give her much more than the space to do that!

The past intertwines with 2019 in surprising ways.  And there are surprises in each narration too.  I love how we’re teased with clues in one timeline but the reveals make us take stock of what we thought.

The historical past is authentic – the social divide, expectations, roles in society but also small nuggets like how you would be treated if you had asthma.  I was as absorbed in this timeline as I was in 2019. 

Another thing I wanted to share, Liz Fenwick’s love of plants and botany is very much in evidence in both timelines.  She uses her knowledge to add another layer of meaning to the story.

The River Between Us is a testament to the legacy of love, family and survival.  Of where we’ve come from and where we’re going.  Of secrets revealed that are empowering. 

One of my favourite reads this year.

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Writer, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer….

Award winning author of The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger, Under A Cornish Sky, The Returning Tide, One Cornish Summer, The Path to the Sea and the novella A Cornish Christmas Carol.

After ten international moves, Liz is a bit of a global nomad. It’s no wonder her heart remains in Cornwall.

Twitter @liz_fenwick

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