The River Within
by Karen Powell
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 11 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 11 Nov 2021
A poignant novel about infatuation, class, and obligation.
On a summer’s day in 1955, in the village of Starome, the drowned body of young Danny Masters is discovered by three of his teenage friends: Alexander, the volatile heir to Richmond Hall, the country estate that neighbours Starome, and sister and brother, Lennie and Tom, whose father is land agent to the Richmond family. How did Danny Masters die?
‘Child of nature’ Lennie is in love with volatile Alexander, but is he in love with her or merely playing with her? Alexander’s mother has been a widow for less than a year, and yet her husband’s brother seems always to be by her side.
In the weeks that follow the tragic drowning, the river begins to give up its secrets. As the circumstances surrounding Danny’s death emerge, other stories gradually come to the surface, threatening to destroy an entire way of life.
Praise for The River Within
“Hamlet comes to fifties Yorkshire in this compelling riff on love, grief and family strife. Powell is a talent to watch.”—Lisa Appignanesi, author of Everyday Madness
“Utterly stunning, with prose that reads like a painting. It brims with heartbreaking moments of pain and betrayal and quiet joy. It recalls the best of Graham Swift and Thomas Hardy. Each sentence is so pristine and finely tuned that it took my breath away, and like its very own river, I felt helpless in its grip, pulled along to a heartbreaking conclusion. This book is unforgettable; it is a masterpiece.”—Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Circus of Wonders
“Beautifully attentive to both its Yorkshire setting and its Hamlet ur-text, and written in prose as alive and evocative as Millais' painting of Ophelia, singing as the river and reeds claim her.”—Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young
"A gripping mystery, revealing dark truths around class and love in the aftermath of war, with beautiful prose depicting Yorkshire and life on a country estate."―The Yorkshire Post
“Powell shows hard-nosed empathy in portraying individuals’ private demons in the context of social realities. Her novel about love, class, and secrecy in 1950s England reads as if it were written in the era the characters inhabit, her style and tone reminiscent of an earlier generation of reticent yet emotionally brutal writers like Shirley Hazzard and Graham Greene. A mesmerizing escape.”—Kirkus (STARRED REVIEW)