The River of No Return
This novel is beautifully written with a real sense of rhythm to the words which made it very easy to read. I found it easy to get lost in the story from the first chapter. In 1815, Julia Percy’s adored grandfather, the Earl of Darchester, is dying, leaving her with a closely guarded secret: he could manipulate time. His last words to her are ‘pretend’, and they play on Julia’s mind as she struggles to find a meaning in them.
In 1812, Lord Nicholas Falcott is about to die but inexplicably jumps forward in time, nearly 200 years to 2003. Here he finds himself taken under the wing of a mysterious organisation calling themselves The Guild who look after him in every way as long as he follows The Guild’s conditions: He can’t go back. He can’t go home. He can’t tell anybody and he must uphold the rules. Nicholas’ yearning for more and a feeling that something is missing means he is forced to return to confront his 19th-century past at his home, Falcott manor.
Meanwhile, Julia flees her home and her evil cousin, who has begun to guess the family secret and wants to know how to bend time, thinking that Julia must know. She heads to the sanctuary of Falcott Manor, where she and Nicholas are drawn to each other. They face danger from unknown enemies and begin to work out the most important word of all: Pretend.
I couldn’t find anything to fault; the timeline is well written with no obvious mistakes, the grammar excellent. The main characters are believable, and I found myself rooting for them. The story ‘shows’ not ‘tells’ and paints a vivid picture of the settings. All in all, I would recommend this book as a well-written, thoroughly enjoyable read.