River’s Reach

Written by Christina Green
Review by Karen Wintle

In 1887 Rose Adams, a schoolmistress in a village school, longs for a better life. She has exciting ideas for reform but the new schoolmaster, Thomas Devlin, takes exception to her new methods. When a local artist, Laurence Vane, asks her to model for him she takes the opportunity of spreading her wings and accepts. She is offered the post of companion to the artist’s sister and goes to live with them in Sandiford House, but Rose finds her life becoming more complicated. When tragedy comes and an answer to a mystery behind a locked door in the house is made clear, Rose needs to make a fateful decision.

I enjoyed this book for the insight it gave you into village school life and the differences it brought up about the quality of life in the clay pits as opposed to those who lived in the village, not to mention the lives of the gentry in Sandiford House. Rose wanted to teach her class to value their surroundings and have self respect—qualities that are still relevant today. An informative and interesting read.