THE RIVER

Tricia Wastvedt, Author . Grove/Black Cat $14 (346p) ISBN 978-0-8021-7007-1

This eerie first novel plumbs the dark undercurrents of the sleepy English town of Cameldip, where two children drown in 1958, and the grief of their death ripples through generations of its inhabitants. In chapters alternating between the year of the drowning, the parents' lives before the accident and a season 30 years later, Wastvedt brings the players to life: Isabel, who can't make peace with the death of her two children; her husband, Robert, whose rejection by Isabel leads him to Sarah, a young maid; Josef, the drowned children's playmate who grows up with survivor's guilt; and Anna, who comes to Cameldip from London in the 1980s to have her baby out of wedlock. The chapters set in the late 1940s have a lovely, elegiac feel, which makes an effective contrast to the chapters set later, when Wastvedt slowly ratchets up the sense of dread. Then, a teenage crush threatens Josef and Anna's tentative relationship, the patter of small, ghostly feet haunts the town, and Isabel's implacable grief veers toward madness as she takes possession of Anna's son. Though the characters' nostalgia can be frustrating, this suspenseful, atmospheric story progresses with the irresistible flow of the river itself, and readers may find themselves pulled in right up to the ghastly ending. Agent, Jean Naggar. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
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FORMATS
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4417-1627-9
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7861-3715-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4551-0547-2
Hardcover - 413 pages - 978-0-7531-7433-3
Hardcover - 345 pages - 978-0-670-91500-2
Paperback - 424 pages - 978-0-7531-7434-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-7998-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-3046-7
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-8151-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-7935-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-3030-6
Hardcover - 329 pages - 978-0-670-04485-6
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-670-91501-9
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-241-96412-5
Hardcover - 345 pages - 978-0-14-101685-6
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