Since a few months, I have my own copy of this novel and am very happy about it. I read it years ago, but its plot is timeless and though you can tell that it was written in the ´90s it is still a wonderful read. The cover of the German edition, a beautiful picture showing a blue sky, some clouds, trees, and a river caught my eyes years ago. It literally spoke to me and turned out to be one fantastic read. And if I may say so, one of the authors best books ever.

River´s End
by Nora Roberts
Publisher Berkley on September 6, 2011
Genre Novel
Pages 433
Format Paperback
Source Purchased


Olivia´s parents were among Hollywood´s golden couples – until the night a monster came and took her mother away forever. A monster with the face of her father … Sheltered from the truth, an older Olivia only dimly recalls her night of terror – but her recurring nightmares make her realize she must piece together the real story. Now, assisted by Noah Brady, the son of the police detective who found her cowering in her closet so many years before, she may have her chance. Noah wants to reconstruct the night that has become an infamous part of Hollywood history. He also wants to help Olivia and heal the longing in her lonely heart. But once the door to the past is opened, there´s no telling what´s waiting on the other side. For somewhere, not too far away, the monster walks again …
Livvy lives a life like a princess. She lives in a big house, has toys and dolls in abundance and her parents love her to the moon and back. But one night it´s over with the familiar family idyll. Shocked, Livvy watches as her father brutally and cruelly kills her mother. Hollywood is in shock. Her grandparents decide to take her to River´s End in the state of Washington so she can grow up quietly away from all the hustle and bustle. But the pictures of the night do not leave Livvy alone, and it takes her years to free herself from it. So she believes. For years later, when she discovers a chest of pictures and newspaper articles about that cruel night in the forbidden attic, everything is back.

At a brisk pace of reading, it goes through a sensitively and effectively written plot that reveals the language and writing style of Nora Roberts unmistakably in every word and sentence. During the course of the story, the reader makes a leap in time from 1979 to 1999, where the tension of the story finally comes to a head and ends with an absolutely surprising twist in the end. The reader is puzzled to the end whether Livvy´s father has really killed her mother or not. But this puzzle is by no means a hindrance to the plot or makes it appear illogical or less exciting and enthralling. But on the contrary. I was rarely so fascinated and immersed in the action as in this one.

I was thrilled with the way the author uses her characters, how she makes them live and feel, and what subliminal tones she keeps shining out, which inevitably asks you as a reader when these will burst forth and if they ever will. Livvy goes through hell and the descriptions Nora Roberts gives of her character are rather brief. It is the behavior rather than the non-behavior of the characters that clearly shows the reader how they are in character and what they look like. Nora Roberts leaves much of the reader´s imagination without taking their depths or making them implausible. The plot itself also benefits unbelievably from this scope of the reader. In an impressive way, Nora Roberts makes it clear what it means when a child is too much protected. Which conflicts can subliminally emerge from this and how difficult and painful it can be if the so overprotected child wants to free himself in order to continue to live. Add to that the love for a man who does not belong to the family, then a situation arises, which feels at first not up to Livvy. A love that becomes a nightmare for her when she realizes that Noah told her grandmother the truth when he says that Livvy if she had to decide, would choose her grandmother instead of him.

Noah brings unbelievable openness, determination, and willpower to the plot and is so incredibly sensitive that it is a real pleasure to pursue and experience it. He´s the only one who dares to tell the truth to the family, who charmingly challenges her and brings the facts to the table, forcing grandparents, as well as his own parents, to see reality and what is really going on in Livvy and accept.

River´s End is a fantastic novel. Enthralling and with a dash of a thriller. Sensitive and full of passion, drama, and hate. From my point of view one of the best novels, the author has ever written. Definitely read!

Happy reading

Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts ©Bruce Wilder

Nora Roberts, born in Silver Spring, Maryland, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming. Nora is a member of several writer’s groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.” She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.


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