Time to say goodbye: A review of The Children of Riverdell

Spreading out away from her the water was calm and pensive, a mist dancing across its surface with a playful swirl of colours. It reminded her of Riverdell, and the river in the early morning of a winter’s sun, when light and sound seemed to play with the garden.

Ah, Riverdell. 

I have travelled with Isabelle, Kate, Moth and Kit to the last page of their stories. This final book in the Riverdell quartet is the bringing together of all the threads introduced two years ago when I first walked through The Doors of Riverdell. I instantly loved the grand setting of the big imposing riverside house in Ludlow, and although it took a while for me to fall in love with its wealthy, seemingly spoilt, self-centred, bickering and highly dysfunctional residents, fall in love I did. Indeed, by the second book I was highly enjoying being in their company and couldn’t wait to snuggle down on the sofa with them. The characters and personalities in Riverdell are gorgeously distinctive, beautifully crafted and developed by their creator, and each given a narrative to do them justice, so that their complicated, eventful and vibrant lives jump straight off the page. These are characters readers do not forget. 

The Children of Riverdell is a grand and beautiful finale. True to style, Marianne Rosen has a few surprises and twists for us, and the paths followed meander and weave, making us sometimes linger with anticipation, sometimes stop with surprise. Kit’s journey takes him to India to make sense of the biggest loss in his life; Moth returns to Riverdell only to find more complications, urging him to either fight or take flight; Isabelle, having secured her place as head of the family, is trying to fill in the gaps; and Kate is contemplating her deepest regret…

This is modern literature of modern times at its finest. Marianne Rosen knows her subject, knows her characters, and is fiercely loyal to her story. The narrative is seamless, the language is gorgeous, the dialogue is out of this world perfection, and the feel of the whole series is consistently brilliant and fresh. The mentions of the beginning of the Covid pandemic reinforce the setting of the now, and helps provide that familiarity that we all need in books if we are to truly love them.

The goodbye of this novel, of this series, is thrilling, touching and heartfelt. If you have been on the Riverdell journey, you hopefully will have experienced this saga in all its magnificence and emotion, as I have. And if you haven’t yet, this is one big recommendation from me. It is an epic chunky series about family relationships and dynamics that has entertained me no end over these last two years. It has been such a fabulous reading experience and I am so looking forward to Marianne Rosen’s next literary series which I am sure will shine just as bright. I am very very curious as to what she has in store for us next!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s