EXCERPT: ‘Lucy, I know you’re all for straight talking, but I don’t think now is the time -‘
‘If not now, then when?’ She turns to Eve in frustration. ‘Now is the time, don’t you see? Now is all we have. We’ve spent far too much time tiptoeing around each other, I think Margot needs to know -‘
‘She knows, Lucy.’ Eve gestures to where Margot stands. ‘Look, she knows.’
Lucy turns back to Margot and sees her standing crumpled in on herself. She is bent over with her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking.
She doesn’t answer.
‘Margot? Are you -‘
But before she can say anything else, Margot has spun on her heel and fled the marquee.
Eve throws Lucy a worried look. ‘Well done, Luce.’
Lucy sighs and throws her hands up. ‘Somebody had to say it.’ She stares after Margot, at the light falling through the opening of the tent, wishing she could shine a light on the secrets her sister seems hell-bent on keeping. ‘What do you think she meant?’ she asks, turning back to Eve. ‘The real truth? What was she talking about? What didn’t we see?’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Margot Sorrell didn’t want to go home. She had spent all her adult life trying not to look behind. But a text from her sister Lucy brought her back to Somerset. ‘I need you.’
As Margot, Lucy and their eldest sister, Eve, reunite in the house they grew up in beside the river, the secrets they keep from each other, and from themselves, refuse to stay hidden. A wedding brings them together but long-simmering resentments threaten to tear the family apart. No one could imagine the way this gathering would change them all forever. And through the sorrow they are forced to confront, there is a chance that healing will also come. But only if the truth is told.
MY THOUGHTS: Families….we take them for granted, but when the chips are really down, it is usually the family who are there. But what happens if one day they aren’t……? Is there any way back?
Families are complex entities. We love them. We hate them. We treat them badly. We expect to be loved by them. No matter what. Complex. There is always someone who feels the odd one out. In this case, it’s Margot, the youngest. She doesn’t feel ‘seen’, and I can quite see why. But when her family calls, she comes.
Hannah Richell is masterful in the creation of her characters; every nuance of them is so real that I live her books as I read them. The River Home is no exception. The plot is exquisitely intricate and swaps from the past, starting in 2005, to the present. Hurt feelings and misunderstandings are layered one atop the other, the writing powerfully emotional. You will need tissues. When I closed the cover on this book, tears were running silently down my face, happy/sad tears, tears of sorrow, tears of joy, and the feeling that I had read yet another wonderful offering from this author overwhelmed me.
I love this author. Another book I will be adding to my personal collection in hard copy.
‘Grief is confounding, wild and unpredictable.’
‘The past can have a funny way of haunting us if we don’t face it head on.’
‘We can hold ourselves so tightly. We build our protective walls and set ourselves apart. But what I see more and more is how much we all need each other.’
THE AUTHOR: Hannah Richell was born in Kent, England and spent her childhood years in Buckinghamshire and Canada. After graduating from the University of Nottingham in 1998 she worked in book publishing and film. Hannah began to write while pregnant with her first child. The result was Secrets of the Tides, picked for the 2012 Richard & Judy Book Club, the Waterstones Book Club and shortlisted for the Australian Independent Bookseller Best Debut Fiction Award, ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year (2013) and ABIA Newcomer of the Year (2013). The novel has been translated into sixteen languages. Her follow-up novel was The Shadow Year and her third, The Peacock Summer, was published in 2018.
Hannah has written for a number of media outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, The Independent, Fairfax Media and Australian Women’s Weekly. She is a dual citizen of the UK and Australia, though currently lives in the South West of England with her family.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hachette Australia for providing a digital ARC of The River House by Hannah Richell for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3211289756