When Olivia was four years old, she woke from sleep one night and
went to look for her after playing for a moment with her mommy's
bottles of perfume and lotions, Olivia went downstairs. She had
heard the beautiful music playing on the stereo, and she went to
find it, figuring she might find her mother there, as
well. What she saw from the staircase would haunt her
dreams for years to come.
Her mother lay on the living room floor, drenched in blood. Blood
stained the floor and the walls and the furniture. It also drenched
and stained Olivia's father's clothing as he bent over the still
form of his estranged wife.
In many ways, Olivia's childhood ended that night. She would lose
both her mother and her father, going to live with her grandparents
at their rustic resort retreat in the Pacific Northwest, River's
End. Protected by the love of her family and nurtured by the
natural beauty of the forest and the mountains, Olivia is able to
grow up out of the spotlight of the press. But she grows up
isolated from her peers because of her history, and the fact that
no one ever mentions her mother. As she matures, the holes in her
heart beg to be filled.
Frank Brady, the detective on her mother's case, never forgot the
little girl who helped close his case. Neither did his son, Noah,
who was eight at the time. Frank and Noah cross Olivia's path from
time to time as she grows into young adulthood, and Noah finds it
increasingly difficult to get her out of his mind.
Anyone who has read Nora Roberts, and millions have, will know from
this description where this book will take them --- and they'll
want to go along for the ride. Nora Roberts always
delivers on a promise, and this book is no exception. As the
mystery of Julie MacBride's death comes front and center in
Olivia's life, all the relationships which have kept her safe and
loved her whole life will be tested. Relationships are
Roberts' stock in trade --- not just the romances, which Roberts
presents with skill and passion, but also the relationships between
family and friends which form the web that is Olivia's world.
Nora Roberts' fans will need no review to decide to read this book.
They know what to expect. And they will get it. Those who have
never picked up one of Roberts' books would do well to begin with
RIVER'S END. They will learn to care not only for a young girl as
she grows to womanhood, but also for a place, a landscape of
incredible and pristine beauty. RIVER'S END is a place of healing
and hope --- not to mention a wonderful story.
Reviewed by Jeanny V. House on January 23, 2011