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 One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin


Life is short. No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni living on the terminal ward. But as she is about to learn, it’s not only what you make of life that matters, but who you share it with.

Dodging doctor’s orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into fellow patient Margot, a rebel-hearted eight-three-year-old from the next ward. Their bond is instant as they realize that together they have lived an astonishing one hundred years.

To celebrate their shared century, they decide to paint their life stories: of growing old and staying young, of giving joy, of receiving kindness, of losing love, of finding the person who is everything.

As their extraordinary friendship deepens, it becomes vividly clear that life is not done with Lenni and Margot yet.

My Review:

A debut novel that will tug at your heartstrings and a story of the gift of life. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin (Doubleday) is released on 18th February and Marianne’s gorgeous debut took seven years to write but Marianne has written a very beautiful and poignant story.

Life is precious, that is something the last year has really taught us. Grab hold of life and celebrate it and live for each and every day. This is the story of Lenni and Margot. Lenni is 17-years-old and Margot is 83.

A hospital in Glasgow is where Lenni is and the news is not great, she is now living with a terminal illness. But the thing is about Lenni she is young and poking death in the eye and giving it what for and that is not all, at the hospital there is Chaplin, Arthur is his name and Lenni will raise questions about life and death at the tender age of 17 when she has a whole life of adventure just waiting for her. There are no real answers of course because no-one has answers to these questions. Lenni joins an art class as part of a therapy programme.

At the same hospital there is Margot (83) a life lived and a love lost. For Lenni and Margot they meet at the art therapy programme and a special bond is formed and that is not all they discover they combine 100 years. So what a better way to celebrate life than to paint their stories of their lives. For these paintings will tell their stories after they have gone. Happy times, sad times, of love and kindness. Every painting will tell a story.

The story of Lenni and Margot will make you laugh and it will make you cry, take my word for that. I did both. I loved the characters I met in the story and Marianne writes like she has written many a bestseller. I have a feeling we will be hearing more from Marianne Cronin in the years to come. A book to treasure. You will not be disappointed it is just wonderful.

400 Pages.

Thank you Alison Barrow for the review copy of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin.

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin is published by Doubleday and is released on 18th February 2021 and is available to pre-order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org

Disclaimer by Renee Knight



Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Review Date: 23 May 2015

Author: Renee Knight

Release Date: 9 April 2015

Publishers: Doubleday

ISBN 10: 0857522817

ISBN – 13: 0857522818


Available in Hardcover, and Download for Kindle.

The Last Word Review:

‘Gripping and tense. Be prepared to be held captive to the last page and cancel all other engagements’

Firstly a big thank you to Alison Barrow for providing a review copy of ‘Disclaimer’ by Renee Knight.

This is an exceptional debut novel. I was held captive from the opening page to the last and has plenty of twist that will keep you from putting this book down.

Imagine moving house and coming across a novel then you pick it up and realise the book is all about you. What would you think, how would you feel? Here is that rollercoaster thriller that more than packs a psychological punch. Catherine has just moved house with Robert her husband and does find that very book. Now the story unfolds and now try and put the book down. The book is called ‘Perfect Stranger’ a book along these lines needs a disclaimer, you know the one ‘any resemblance to any person living or dead’ etc. It is there bold as brass except it has a neat red line through it. Don’t know about you but that would worry me. My heart was racing from here as I knew I was reading something so unique and so very special.

The premise of this story is that Catherine has a secret she has kept locked inside for the last 20 years, so she thought. Renee Knight has written a book that will set you thinking and will play with you. There is more to ‘Disclaimer’ than the reader first realises and as you read on you become hooked. The book moves from Catherine’s narrative to an old man recounting his life with his dead wife Nancy. The one thing about ‘Disclaimer’ is that there are not too many characters so you become intertwined with their lives and with the plot. Clever, brilliant in fact.

The one thing about secrets is that you work so hard and worry about keeping the secret safe that in itself is harder than think and someone somewhere knows.

If you are planning to read Disclaimer and I urge you to go out and buy a copy, be prepared and cancel all other engagements as you will not put Disclaimer down until you have finished reading it. ‘Disclaimer’ really is that good. One of my books of 2015 without a doubt.


                                                                Meet the Author:

                   Renee Knight

Renée Knight worked for the BBC directing arts documentaries before turning to writing. She has had TV and film scripts commissioned by the BBC, Channel Four and Capital Films. Her first screenplay, ‘Mother’s Day’, made it onto the Brit List of best unproduced scripts of that year. In April 2013 she graduated from the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She lives in London with her husband and two children.