When I picked up Margaret Leroy’s The River House I assumed it was a murder mystery.
Wrong I was.
While the murder is central to the novel, the narrative and voice is why you will absolutely love this book. Its definitely why I did.
More so if you are a woman as the novel touches on many of the internal struggles that mothers face.
Ginnie Holmes is a 40-something psychologist stuck in a dull, passionless marriage and about to bid goodbye to her daughter who is moving out of home for college.She meets Will Hampden on work related matter and finds herself transformed by the intense passion that she feels for him. An otherwise smart and sensible woman, Ginnie finds herself risking her family and children as she loses herself in this tempestuous affair.
One Thursday( the lovers meet every Thursday noon in an abandoned boathouse near the Thames), she spies a man through the river house window, hurriedly walking along the river path. Later when that man’s wife’s battered body is fished out the river Thames, Ginnie finds herself torn between calling the police as she is a potential witness and preventing the grief and destruction of two families that will come with her disclosure.
This brilliant novel creates a gloomy but ethereal atmosphere. Leroy almost effortlessly manages to pull the reader into Ginnie’s head and life with all her domestic and parental worries …all the small intimacies of ordinary day to day life. The agonizing emotional tension and moral dilemma that Ginnie faces is so tragic and and expertly put….no easy task that..
The writing is just hauntingly beautiful and dreamy and although the story may not be original the authors superior quality of writing makes it an exquisite book.
I cant wait to pick up her other titles.