Today is all about surviving and finding our inner strength! Happy Sunday everyone!
Thank you very much to Bookollective for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. All opinions in this review are mine. I received a copy of No Fourth River for review purposes.
Title: No Fourth River
Author: Christine Clayfield
Date of publication: June 2018
Publisher: RASC Publishing
Number of pages: 217
Electroshock therapy, child abuse and modern-day slavery… just another day in Christine’s life.
Take a heart-wrenching yet inspiring ride through one woman’s incredible journey that is so compelling that you are simultaneously trying to look away and unable to stop yourself from reading on.
Christine’s father is a wealthy, tyrannical man renowned in the diamond business. At the age of just five, little Christine is cast aside into a boarding school where she is ridiculed for two embarrassing problems. She grows up in a never-ending circle of traumatic experiences both in her boarding school and at home. It culminates into a falling out between father and child that was never fully mended, leading her into a world of promiscuity and alcohol, eventually landing her in a violent marriage.
Driven to the limits of despair and heartache, she creates a plan to escape her world of misery. Will her plan work?
A story that asks: How do you find the strength, when you suffer almost unbearable abuse and are broken beyond repair, to pick up the pieces of a shattered life?
Faint-hearted darlings, pass your way.
No Fourth River is a raw testimony of a life of abuse. But this is putting it in a nutshell. The author makes sure you can feel every inch of pain, every sting of humiliation, every scar of psychological abuse. Through a split storyline, we follow Christine growing up, enduring an endless string of events which will shape her future, her vision of herself and of the world.
I will admit I had to take breaks reading this story. There is so much you can take before your eyes start avoiding the words. It was painful to read. It was painful to imagine. Although I found the narrative going back and forth from the past to the future very interesting, I couldn’t help thinking there was a bit of repetition to the story. But I guess it only reflects a daily life of suffering. It doesn’t happen once. You are forced into this way of life over and over and over.
Christine explains with a lot of care but without holding anything back. My heart broke many times during my reading, and I wish I could jump into the pages and prevent some things from happening. It is one of those true stories which pulls at your heartstrings and make you go “This can’t happen.”
But it does.
No Fourth River, with its brilliant name and all the strength from the author, tells the story of survival, mistakes, and how to grow up with such a heavy past.
I was surprised at the second half of the book, when an adult Christine tells of her better years. I won’t spoil anything and I am sure it will help other picture how life can be better, treat you with more kindness, and give you a life after the nightmare, but the contrast between Christine’s two different eras struck me as “almost too good to be true”. I am delighted Christine found a way to escape, but the difference between the violence of the first part and the blue sky after the storm somehow had me going skeptical. I do know Christine explains her life ‘after’ the awful things she went through weren’t all flowers and happiness, but she focused on those good things, which is a very powerful message of hope. Maybe some transition would have helped me get a better understanding.
No Fourth River is a heart-breaking book which goes over an entire life, going from the deepest dark to the brightest colours, taking the reader through pain and joy. You are bound to feel. We need more of this kind of stories to open minds and hearts. To mend. A true inspirational story.