The River Girl

Written by Tania Crosse
Review by Sara Wilson

On the death of her father, Elizabeth Thornton and her mother are forced to move in with her uncle on his humble tenant farm. This turns out to be a mixed blessing when her uncle develops an unpleasant obsession for the young Elizabeth. Elizabeth learns all she can about nursing and medicine and, with the help of the local doctor, secures a good post as nurse to local bigwig Josiah Pencarrow.

During this time Elizabeth encounters Josiah’s estranged son, Richard, and her life changes forever; she can put the horrors of life with her uncle behind her. Or so she thinks. Money troubles and the vengeance of a frustrated suitor threaten her new-found happiness almost from the outset, but she and Richard are strong-willed, resourceful and determined to thwart their enemies.

Set amongst the mining and farming communities of the Tavy Valley, Dartmoor, The River Girl is never less than entertaining. It is a classic romantic saga, full of drama and intrigue. Elizabeth and Richard are flawed enough to be convincing yet warm enough to be charming. There is a strong sense of history – both social and political – to satisfy the reader and the plot fairly races along.