The River Home by Hannah Richell

‘I need you.’

Sisters Eve, Lucy and Margot Sorrell grew up at Windfalls, a seventeenth century house by a river, in the English countryside.  Lucy is to be married (a spur of the moment decision), Eve is exasperated (but handling the organizational aspects) and Margot has returned home (reluctantly). There’s tension between family members, secrets (both present and past), resentments carried from the past.

‘What is it about a homecoming that can strip a person of all that they have become?’

Slowly the story unfolds.  Events from the past need to be acknowledged while each of the women, and their parents, deal with their own lives as well as the wedding arrangements.  Why is Lucy getting married in such a hurry?  What does Margot need to apologise for?  And what about Eve?

The story moves between present and past, gradually information is revealed.  This family has broken apart because of secrets, can it be reunited? Tragedy and human frailty are part of this story, as is courage and determination.  Well-developed characters facing issues many can relate to, doing the best they can, given what they know.  Be warned: parts are sad, and tissues may come in handy. A novel to read slowly, to think about and to reflect on.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith