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The River of No Returnby Bee Ridgway
Synopses & Reviews
In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future.
“You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.
In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.
"Ridgway makes her debut with an accomplished if sometimes slow-going literary mash-up. In the midst of battle, Lord Nicholas Falcott suddenly jumps 200 years into the future. Finding himself in 2003, Lord Nicholas forges a new life as 'Nick Davenant' and serves in a time-traveling secret society known as the Guild. But 10 years after he jumped, Nick is told he's being sent back to 1815 on a vital mission. While investigating the Guild's enemies and hunting for the invaluable Talisman, he's reunited with his sweetheart, Julia Percy, who's just started to discover time-traveling gifts of her own. But a war over the past and the fate of the future, as well as desperate attempts to find the Talisman and use it to avert catastrophe, promises either to bring Nick and Julia together or tear them apart. Ridgway offers a well-crafted blend of science fiction, romance, mystery, and historical fiction, but stumbles with overlong explanations that, while helpful in untangling the story's convolutions, stall the plot. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Named a Notable Fiction Book of 2013 by The Washington Post
An engrossing adventure, with mystery, romance, humor, and impeccable historical detail.” The Boston Globe
Devon, 1815. The charming Lord Nicholas Davenant and the beguiling Julia Percy should make a perfect match.
But before their love has a chance to grow, Nicholas is presumed dead in the Napoleonic war.
Nick, however, is lost in time. Somehow he escaped certain death by leaping two hundred years forward to the present day where he finds himself in the care of a mysterious society the Guild. Questioning the limits of the impossible, Nick is desperate to find a way back to the life he left behind. Yet with the future of time itself hanging in the balance, could it be that the girl who first captured his heart has had the answers all along? Can Nick find a way to return to her?
Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Lord Nicholas Falcott wakes up in twenty-first-century London. The Guild, a secretive fraternity of time travelers, informs him that there is no return. But Nick yearns for the beautiful Julia Percy, who remains in 1815. As fate and the fraying fabric of time draw Nick and Julia together once again, the lovers must match wits and gamble their hearts against the rules of time itself.
Rich in romance and historical detail, Bee Ridgways debut is a thrilling, fast-paced narrative evocative of Deborah Harknesss time-bending bestsellers.
About the Author
BEE RIDGWAY holds a PhD in literature from Cornell University and is a professor of English literature at Bryn Mawr College. She lived in England for several years and now makes her home in Philadelphia.
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