Go as a River by Shelley Read

Go as a River by Shelley Read


On a cool autumn day in 1948, Victoria Nash delivers late-season peaches from her family’s farm set amid the wild beauty of Colorado. As she heads into her village, a dishevelled stranger stops to ask her the way. How she chooses to answer will unknowingly alter the course of both their young lives.

So begins the mesmerising story of split-second choices and courageous acts that propel Victoria away from the only home she has ever known and towards a reckoning with loss, hope and her own untapped strength.

Gathering all the pieces of her small and extraordinary existence, spinning through the eddies of desire, heartbreak and betrayal, she will arrive at a single rocky decision that will change her life for ever.

GO AS A RIVER is a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettable characters and a breathtaking natural setting, it is a sweeping story of survival and becoming, of the deepest mysteries of love, truth and fate.

My Review:

When you have read the first few pages of Go as a River (Doubleday) by Shelley Read you know you are reading something very special. Already one of my books of 2023 and it will linger long in the memory when you finished reading. A story that is compelling and so beautifully written, heart-breaking but there is hope in the story.

The story set in the late 1940’s follows seventeen-year-old Victoria (Torie) Nash who has already know what tragedy is at a young age. Now Victoria is working on the family’s peach farm in Colorado. Torrie is now the only female in the family. It is late Summer and Torrie is heading into town to make a delivery of some of the late picked peaches, but here is a chance encounter with a stranger that will ignite many feelings but also there is danger. Wilson Moon is a Native American and has found himself in the town at the same moment as Torrie. They meet though it is a fleeting moment in time. Something has awakened in Torrie, and she finds Wilson captivating. This moment will change Torrie’s life forever more.

Though the start of the novel may seem a little slow to begin with, it sets the tone for what is to come in the remaining pages and for our main character. Something about hatred in the town where she lives and those who are not welcome in their town. Now we follow Torrie as she must flee the family home and hide in the mountains. How will she survive in the wilderness. She is now alone and must survive as the seasons change. But the one thing Torrie will find is that nature has a way of healing. But the story does not come to end for as she now must head home only to find more heartache, the family farm that has been theirs for generations is to be taken from them and flooded. The valley will be flooded and gone forever.

This is a story where we follow Victoria through the decades that follow, she has known tragedy at a young age, love, and lost love as well as the worst form of hatred. A novel set in the wilderness and is so descriptive of the mountains and landscape of Torrie’s life. There are several themes running through Go as a River. The characters are written so well into the novel. But the writing by Shelley Read is breath-taking. A novel not to be missed.

320 Pages.

My thanks to Alison Barrow and Doubleday for the review Copy of Go as a River by Shelley Read that is Published on 13 April 2023 and is now available to order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org

The Exes by Jane Lythell

The Exes by Jane Lythell


When Holly is bequeathed a large but derelict house, she wants to share her good fortune. So she gets in touch with former boyfriend Ray, a builder who can project-manage the renovation in exchange for the basement flat. The spacious middle floor would make a glorious studio space—perfect for her friend and first love, Spencer. And before Holly knows it, the upper floor is let to soon-to-be ex-husband James, who’s on a path of reinvention from city highflyer to osteopath. What could possibly go wrong?

But no good deed goes unpunished, and soon the house is riddled with tension, rivalry, and petty spitefulness. And as Holly is beset with migraines, nausea and spiralling self-doubt, even the house itself seems to be turning against her. But for someone, everything is going to plan . . .

My Review:

Over the years, I have read a number of books by Jane Lythell and I have really enjoyed reading all of them Jane has also had one of her books made into a film in the USA. How delighted I was to receive a copy of Jane’s latest book The Exes (Bloodhound Books) that has recently been released and it is one of those books that you just cannot leave alone.

What an opening to The Exes and this really is how to pull in a reader from the very start, no spoilers from me but just take my word for it. The story follows the main character Holly as she has been bequeathed Penumbra House situated in Brighton from her aunt Lillian and the house does need a lot of work to make it into her dream home. The house has a large garden at the back that also needs a lot of work to hack down the brambles and weeds, at the bottom of the garden there is a tree. Do you take it down or cut it back? What Holly does decide to do is to invite some of her former boyfriends to move in and so long as they pay rent, it also helps that one is just really good at renovation and this will become a project to get the house fixed up and that includes the leaky roof as the rain pours in.

It is not long after that things start to go wrong, and talk about things that go bump in the night. It tuns out that there are now threats to Holly personally and then there are the extracts from her aunt’s diary that suddenly and unexpectedly start appearing on her doormat each morning that tell a story of her aunt Lillian that Holly never knew about and the disturbing unease that this causes starts to play at Holly’s mind. Who is doing this and why? Clearly someone has a grudge at her being given this rundown old house.

Why does Holly’s friends dog seem to have a real interest in tree at the bottom of the garden, he heads straight there as soon as the backdoor is open. It is not long before the exes start to bicker as tensions rise. I really enjoy how Jane Lythell creates her characters and weaves a story within a story. What transpires is a psychological drama that twists and turns and keeps you wanting more. What is really going on at Penumbra House?

The Exes delivers on all fronts and if you are looking for your next book to read you will not be disappointed.

334 Pages.

My thanks to Jane Lythell and Bloodhound Books for the review Copy of The Exes by Jane Lythel Published on 2nd March 2023 and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org