Cover Image: The River Between Us

The River Between Us

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Member Reviews

I loved this book and couldn’t put it down! I devoured the pages needing to find out Lady Alice’s story and how Theo came to a happy peaceful acceptance of her own life. I loved how fictional characters were woven into real life places and events. A 5* read.
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A beautifully described read, using  a dual timeline to tell the stories of Alice a suffragette and Theo a gardener both who end up living on the River Tamar. It feels as though you are there, hearing the river, smelling the flowers and feeling the sunshine and the rain as the link between the two women grows bit by bit. 
Highly recommend, thank you for the opportunity to read this book.
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The first book I have read by Liz Fenwick and after my experience with this story it won’t be my last. 

This story tugged at my heartstrings and I felt very emotional at a couple of points throughout which is massive praise to the author as it takes a lot to make me teary eyed. 

The descriptive and emotive language flows from beginning to end allowing the connection to be established between various characters in the book and to feel their wonder, joy, heartache and tragedy. 

This was a delight to read, from the dual timelines of 1914-1920 and 2019. I fell in love with the story from the first page with Theo and her opinionated mother and her awful husband. I love how Theo retained a positive outlook on life even faced with the rundown cottage that was not as idyllic at first sight as she had hoped. I loved the detailed weaving of her present and past life and how there was a symmetry with Alice who also had a domineering mother and although for different reasons, a complex love life.

The story touches on womens rights, cross class relationships, same sex relationships, different types of love, infidelity and the power that secrets can have and the ripple effect this can have in different generations. 

I loved everything about this story and would like to thank #NetGalley and publishers HQ for providing me with an advanced copy of #TheRiverBetweenUs which is released on 10 June. This is my honest review.
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This dual timeline book is set on the Devon/Cornwall border and spans over 100years.
I love dual timeline, I feel as though I am getting two stories for the price of one!
The writing pulled me into the book immediately and kept me engrossed right to the end.
It is one of those books which you want to carry on forever and feel loss when it ends.
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This is a beautiful Book that links several families through their Historical events and Genealogy  plus DNA  testing  & how this helps to find & unite Families plus those who lost their young lives in the First World War allowing them to be named & Buried by their families finally . The Book is set along the River Tamar which divides the Counties of Devon & Cornwall & this magical river also plays an important role in the the stories that it's main character Theo discovers after a nasty Divorce & when she purchases Boatman's Cottage ( which is a real place although only a few bits of it remain )
I will not add any spoilers but this is a beautiful book on so many different levels so I urge you to find the time to read it . #FB, #Instagram, #Goodreads, #NetGalley,#Amazon.co.uk , #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/c566f42be23a0e25d120e78a3454e2d427c4beee" width="80" height="80" alt="50 Book Reviews" title="50 Book Reviews"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/ef856e6ce35e6d2d729539aa1808a5fb4326a415" width="80" height="80" alt="Reviews Published" title="Reviews Published"/>, <img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/aa60c7e77cc330186f26ea1f647542df8af8326a" width="80" height="80" alt="Professional Reader" title="Professional Reader"/>.
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Recently divorced Theo has moved to a county side cottage on a riverbank that separated Devon and Cornwall. Impulsively she had purchased the property unseen and was now finding out that quaint meant in places it was falling apart, and rustic was another way of saying no running water or electrics. She takes it all in her stride and can see in her mind how it will look when it this restored.

As she is assessing each room one at a time, she comes across a stash of letters under one of the bedroom floors, tied neatly with a ribbon. She cannot resist taking a look. The letters are over one hundred years old.

Set on timelines, in the present day and the past, the cottage had kept its secrets well hidden until now. With the opening of each letter, the truth will now come to light. It is outside influences that steer the young couple’s lives and kept them apart. The letters had been sent from the young man across the river, while he was away in France during the 1st World War. They were for the woman he loved. They had lived on each side of the river, and were not free to be together, by either social standing or availability.

The story drops back to events as they had taken place and forbidden love that could ruin both the men and women. In present-day life is going on, with Theo determined to find out who these mystery pair were while forging along with the repairs and friendships she is making. Theo has her own story and secrets. I particularly enjoyed a wedding she got pulled into doing the flowers for. I unashamedly giggled more than once.

The characters, past and present, are very engaging, with strong courageous men and women, who would have been ruined socially because of their choice of loving someone. It is at times heart-breaking, but the sheer strength of these characters is remarkable. Beautifully written, these people will stay with me a long time.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
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The River Between Us is a love story that bridges the generations. A forbidden story of love set in a picture perfect backdrop. It's so easy to unwind and let yourself be drawn into the pages and let the story envelop you. 

The story is told in a dual narrative. 2019 we follow Theo as she embarks on a new adventure in Cornwall, and she starts to unearth some family secrets. In 1914 we learn of the story of Alice, as she faces a war torn country. 

I loved the story of Alice, I am realising after years of reading that I have a soft spot for historical fiction. I love learning of how things used to be, and in this tale the whole forbidden love amazes me. I am so glad that we have moved forward as a society somewhat. 

The River Between Us is steeped in mystery as the familial relationships and DNA mysteries are starting to unravel. Immerse yourself into Fenwick's beautiful writing and allow yourself to solve the mystery.
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Liz writes such beautiful books with lovely descriptions, you feel as though you have been transported to the setting. The book has a dual timeline too which I find helps the reader to understand the past. Thank you Liz.
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Oh my! What an emotional read this was. I was so completely involved in the story that I failed to hear people speaking to me. The letters were so heartbreaking. Alice seemed to have everything she needed on the surface but to a free spirit like Alice, she was restricted in many ways. The story is told in two different times but there are links. The characters are the type that stay with the reader for a long time. The title was so apt in a number of ways. This was the first book I’ve read by this author but I will be looking at others Liz Fenwick has written. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A lovely summer read. Well paced and effortless. Emotional and heartbreaking. I recommend this as a lovely easy read.  
My thanks to NetGalley  the publisher and the author for allowing me to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A family saga, very descriptive of the area.
Loved the beginning when Theo bought a rundown cottage after her marriage ended.
She finds a bundle of letters under the floorboards from 1914 and starts to investigate who they are. 

 Then the story goes to 1914 and follows the letter writers.

I found it confusing with so many names by the time the story went back to the present I had forgot who everyone was, It felt like two books put together and came together at the end.

It just wouldn`t come together for me, and found it difficult with a woman rowing  over the river several times in the pitch black!

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC and I give this review voluntarily.
Posted to Goodreads.
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Beautiful writing, and an immersive dual timeline story that entirely whisks you away – you can’t ask for much more than that, can you?

At first, this is Theo’s story, set in the present day. After her marriage breakdown, she’s left her beloved home and the gardens she nurtured behind, and bought a cottage, sight unseen, on the banks of the Tamar. Arriving late at night, it looks almost uninhabitable – daylight doesn’t help that much, but she bravely sets about lining up all the people who can help her turn it into a home, although it’s restoring the garden that really makes her heart beat faster. Money’s initially a problem – underfloor heating with a flagged floor might just be a step too far – but an inheritance helps with that, and leads to one of the book’s mysteries when she finds that her grandmother had a past she knew nothing about. And then, in a built-in cupboard in a bedroom, she finds a strongbox with a stash of letters, very emotional and written from the front in the First World War, telling a story of lost love and heartbreak.

That leads us into Lady Alice’s story, starting in 1914. The daughter of the Duke of Exeter, she’s a young lady who refuses to follow the expected path to an arranged and suitable marriage, having developed an interest in women’s suffrage, a rash act of rebellion seeing her exiled to the family estate on the Devon side of the Tamar. Overseen by her ailing Nanny and the constantly disapproving butler, she finds some of the freedom she craves in the house’s grounds on the edge of the river – and grows ever closer to gillie Zach, who nurtures her love of fishing, shows a surprising interest in Shakespeare’s sonnets, but also begins to win her heart.

I’ll admit that I did feel a bit of a wrench when the book first shifted focus to Alice’s story – I was particularly enjoying following Theo’s progress, making new friends and exploring the various threads of the mysteries she’d uncovered – but the stories very satisfyingly wrap themselves around each other, with particularly strong links and echoes, and I became more than happy to allow the two stories to unfold and carry me along with them.

The book’s setting is exceptionally well drawn, and becomes very much part of the story – the river separates the boatman’s cottage and the estate of what is now a hotel, but also a metaphor for the obstacles to a relationship between Alice and Zach, and the focus on plants and gardens is quite beautifully echoed in both stories. I particularly loved the romance – entirely real and convincing, one of those love affairs that makes you ache with its impossibility of a happy ending, constrained by the conventions of the time and the approach of war. But I also really enjoyed the way secrets were layered, then those layers slowly peeled away in both past and present stories – perhaps sometimes driven by coincidence rather more than I’d have chosen, but this is after all a work of fiction. There were so many small touches that I really enjoyed – especially the present day discovery of unidentified wartime remains in a field in France, and the part played by DNA research in uncovering their identity.

The characterisation is excellent. At first, Alice perhaps isn’t particularly likeable – there’s a selfishness about her, a touch of petulance, but it’s all very much a part of her privileged upbringing and the expectations and conventions of the time. It certainly didn’t interfere with me feeling increasingly deeply for her as the story progressed. Both threads have a strong supporting cast too – particularly Theo’s family, and the friends she discovers, but there are also individuals who win your heart threaded through Alice’s story.

But above all, I loved the storytelling – this is a book that begins steadily, shifts effortlessly between present and past, fascinates through its flawed and complex characters and all the cleverly wrought links between past and present. And it most certainly really makes you feel – the forbidden and impossible love entirely broke my heart. This book was totally enthralling, and I recommend it really highly.
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Set on the Devon/Cornwall border, and 1914 and 2019, this lovely book recounts how newly divorced Theo finds her past and her present.
When Theo moves to the Boatman's cottage in Cornwall,  her mother tells her she has wasted her life. When her Grannie dies, Theo's mother throws back at her the ring she has inherited, believing it to be paste. 
Then Theo finds a pile of letters in the cottage.
A beautifully interwoven story of Lady Alice from 1914 to 1920, links to Theo's story in 2019. 
Seamless, and beautifully descriptive.
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This is an atmospheric and lyrical story of love, loss and familial relationships. Written in dual timelines, 2019 and the early twentieth century during WW1 and its tragic aftermath. The Cornish setting is wonderfully described and gives the story its mystical and timeless qualities.

The characters are diverse and relatable, and the different relationships are full of emotion. The plot is layered and beautifully woven together to allow the reader some precious moments of escapism.

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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A dual timeline story told between the present day and 1914. Theo buys a house on a river to start a new life following the breakdown of her marriage. A chance find sends her back to 1914 and a love story. A heart breaking but enchanting story that captures your heart. An emotional but enjoyable read.
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What a lovely book. A story of mystery, love, loss and secrets set on dual timeline of pre war 1914 and present day. The writing is exquisite, lovely descriptions and just pulls you in from the start. I enjoyed all the characters. Theo, present day, starting a new life at Boatmans cottage and Alice, pre 1914, living in Abbots Wood. The story intertwined beautifully. Liz Fenwick is a new author to me and I shall be seeking out more of her books. A joy to read. The ending brings everything together nicely.

From the book:

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Theo has bought a tumbledown cottage on the banks of the river Tamar which divides Cornwall and Devon. The peace and tranquillity of Boatman’s Cottage, nestled by the water, is just what she needs to heal.

Yet soon after her arrival, Theo discovers a stash of hidden letters tied with a ribbon, untouched for more than a century. The letters – sent from the battlefields of France during WW1 – tell of a young servant from the nearby manor house, Abbotswood, and his love for a woman he was destined to lose.

As she begins to bring Boatman’s Cottage and its gardens back to life, Theo pieces together a story of star-crossed lovers played out against the river, while finding her own new path to happiness.

Thank you Netgalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Liz Fenwick writes so beautifully and I was quickly immersed in this story of secret love and long buried mysteries. There's intrigue right from the start with the unidentified remains of soldiers killed in WW1 found in a field in France. Who were they and what would be their significance to the the story? The search to identify these men by tracing relatives of soldiers known to be lost at that time and using DNA continues throughout the story. Although those particular parts make up a relatively small proportion of the story, I found it fascinating especially as we start to find out possible connections to the story.

I love a dual timeline story and this one was told so well. In the present, we have Theo who has bought Boatman's Cottage on the banks of the Tamar without even seeing it, as she moves on from a marriage breakdown. The cottage was dilapidated and as she starts to clean and renovate it, she finds a stash of letters from a century before, letters which tell of a great love. A hundred years before, we follow the story of Lady Alice, sent to the countryside in disgrace after speaking out about women's suffrage, and Zach, the young gillie on the estate. The way the stories were woven together was done so well and made for a really immersive reading experience for me. I was equally caught up with both stories. The great romance and secrets from the past were balanced out well by Theo investigating the past and the history of the cottage. Theo had some secrets of her own which also come to light. I thought that Liz Fenwick wrote about the two stories and the connections between them in such a clever way. I loved trying to work out all the links between the different storylines and the characters.

And I have to mention the gorgeous setting on the banks of the beautiful River Tamar, the boundary between Cornwall and Devon. There's a river between the counties and a metaphorical river separating Alice and Zach. Very near the beginning, we read the estate agent's particulars for Boatman's Cottage, a 19th Century on the banks of the river and in ten acres of woodland -  you can read those in the first chapter of the book here: Chapter One. As I said, Theo bought it without even going to see it and I can understand why. I think I'd want to do the same. Admittedly it was in need of a great deal of renovation but it sounded just wonderful, a real bolthole and refuge for Theo after the end of her marriage, a place of safety and a new start. It was just as much a place of safety for Alice and Zach a hundred years before.

The River Between Us is a book to settle yourself down with this summer and you'll soon become lost in its pages. It's such a gorgeous, evocative story and I loved it!
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A wonderful summer read.  The author paces this book wonderfully, it makes the reading extremely addictive and so effortless. I found myself transported with her descriptions. It was emotional and heartbreaking with the revealing of the past through the earlier timeline and also through the forgotten letters. I recommend this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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A lovely summer read. Beautifully researched and showing, again, the author’s connection and love of Cornwall and the surrounding area.
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Wow!!! What a fantastic book!!
I was drawn into this story quickly, finding myself completely immersed in the relationships and the years of 1914 and 2019 for the last few days. The characters staying with me long after finishing this novel. I smiled, I cried. Just wow!!
Theo is newly divorced and has bought an old cottage near the river Tamar on the borders of Devon and Cornwall to begin a new life. She has a deep love of gardening and has many plans and plants in her car, but first she must make the cottage more habitable. Whilst cleaning she discovers a stash of old letters........no spoilers here!
The depths of love, the very real limitations that relationships have experienced over the last hundred years are particularly well depicted. The story is brilliantly researched and very believable. 
The River Between Us has touched me deeply.
Liz Fenwick is a master of her craft. Beautifully written, deep with meaning and wisdom. Warm and wise, hard and sad. This book is a must read, not just for Cornish lovers but for anyone with spirit and soul. 
I felt some fleeting reverberations or perhaps reminders of Downton Abbey and Poldark here, but this was so different. 
Highly recommended! This book has moved me deeply. 
Huge thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity for the early read.
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