Troubador Onwards Flows the River

Released: 07/06/2017

eISBN: 9781788031240

Format: eBook

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Onwards Flows the River


It is 1971. Hannah Matheson, whose affluent Quaker family lives in Devon, moves to a hostel in London to study for a degree. Her extravert and exuberant personality initially brings her into conflict with the hostel’s caustic deputy warden, Jo Ackroyd, whose abusive upbringing was very different from her own. In desperation Hannah persuades her old schoolfriend, Kate Deveraux, who, following the death of her parents, is often lonely living in her London flat, to come and live with her at the hostel.

Kate, a hospital receptionist, has long been valued by Hannah’s family as a calming influence upon their daughter and she is a regular visitor to their home. Kate’s unspoken affection for Hannah’s solicitor brother, Aidan, has grown over the years and she longs for him to notice her. Jo and Kate get on well from the start and Kate is determined to help Hannah overcome her antipathy to the deputy warden.

At Christmas Hannah invites Kate, Jo and Jo’s younger sister, Beth, to stay with her in her family’s holiday cottage in Devon. Beth, unlike her atheist sister Jo, has a deep spiritual awareness which is something she finds she has in common with both Kate and Aidan. Kate, however, soon realises, to her dismay, that her love for Aidan is clearly not reciprocated. Hannah, meanwhile, resumes her close relationship with Daniel, a friend of Aidan’s, who is also a solicitor in the family firm – Mathesons. Her passionate nature, however, is constantly frustrated by him and she is driven to look elsewhere to satisfy her needs.

The book follows the relationship between the three women, as their inter-twining lives and loves threaten to destroy the friendship that unites them.

Three 5-star reviews on Amazon:-

"I bought this for my wife. She would like to review it as follows: What a wonderful, light-hearted book. I read it in 2 sittings as I was so absorbed in the characters."
(P Clark)

"I loved this book. Once it arrived on kindle I found it hard to put down. Tried to read slowly so I would not reach the end. I think the book is well written and not top heavy on Quaker side but gives a good insight into another way of thinking. Hope to see another book by same author."
(Jenny Powell)

Life enhancing, enriching and fun, loved it. Speaks about enduring friendships and faith, through the joys and tribulations of early adulthood for three very different, but endearing young women. Special, because it communicates authentic spiritual journeys and experiences in an honest open manner.(Linda Wheeler)

What an exquisite book, filled with poetic and rich characters and beautiful interlaced relationships. A true pleasure to read.

by Dr Chiara Catterwell

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
A beautifully written account of friendship and love, among the life’s hardships, set in the dreamy countryside of Devon vs. the serious real life London. I had a pleasant experience with this book, which is very calming, yet poignant with details and soothing descriptions of nature and young love. It is like a pumpkin spiced latte on an autumn evening, delightful to sip on and strong enough to get one focused on the important things.

The characters are well portrayed and each and every one of them is distinctly rounded up, a well accomplished feat for a seemingly easy to read young adult novel. It seems like a ya, though it touches some serious topics as well, like family poverty, difficult childhood, unrequited love, etc. Plus the whole thing is spiced up with Anglican vs Quaker references, which I must say, I found a bit odd in the beginning. Though religion plays a major role in the characters’ development throughout the book, so one should not be harsh about it.

All in all, I enjoyed this novel and warmly recommend it as a weekend read. It requires patience and/or a calm mood and the expectation that the action is slowly unfolding, with the speed of an old mobile, yet like a sunny breeze while watching the river unfolding its currents and waves.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

by Gabriela Trofin-Tatar

Beautifully written heart-warming tale about friendship. family, loss, faith and the way the future can take you by surprise.

These 3 unlikely friends are so differently, yet, incredibly balance each other out wonderfully. Their life intertwines, almost by accident, and leads them to a future and a destiny I don't think any of them imagined.

It's also nice to read a book where women support women with love and respect, this, I think, is a valuable lesson for life.

The supporting cast of characters are also brilliantly written and so believable.

This book has left me with a smile on my face, and I'm hoping for a sequel as I would love to see where life takes these young women in the future!

by Ruth Turner

Friendship, teenage lust, soul searching, family and sanctuary.

When friends become family and boundaries are crossed will the love remain?

A lovely book set in the 70's between London and Devon, sounds like it shouldn't work but it does!

by Laura Richards

Caroline Windsor

After many childhood holidays in Devon, I moved from London to Cornwall in 1980. Writing short stories and articles for a variety of magazines made a pleasant contrast from a working life in healthcare, and being runner-up in a novel synopsis competition has encouraged me to complete my first book.

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