Official Review: No Fourth River. A novel based on a true...

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Official Review: No Fourth River. A novel based on a true...

Post by jwalker73 » 12 Feb 2018, 04:36

[Following is an official review of "No Fourth River. A novel based on a true story." by Christine Clayfield.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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No Fourth River is a novel by Christine Clayfield. Told in the first-person perspective, this story incorporates many themes including abuse, survival, challenges and, ultimately, personal growth. The author, who today is a successful businesswoman, felt inspired to write this book in the hope that she could offer some guidance and inspiration to others by sharing her life story. Perfectly described as ‘creative non-fiction’, this book blends factual life events with the writing style of a fictional novel. This makes the story both easy to read and engaging while imparting some inspiring and motivational messages.

No Fourth River starts with Christine receiving a call from her brother. Upon hearing that her mother is gravely unwell and in an induced coma, Christine rushes to the hospital to be by her mother’s side. While keeping vigil, Christine finds herself having flashbacks to her youth. The ensuing recollections take the reader on a journey through Christine’s life, from the age of five to the present.

Growing up with a physically abusive father, and then sent to boarding school where she is the subject of further bullying and intimidation, Christine longs to escape her life. Happiness is a concept she wants to experience since she had no idea what that emotion feels like. The hostile environment Christine is raised in is all that she knows and, therefore, considers this ‘normal’. To make matters even more difficult, Christine’s internally harboured stress sees her develop an embarrassing psychosomatic condition. In an attempt to cure this affliction, Christine’s parents then subject her to some barbaric medical treatments. Over the years, Christine transforms from a timid child into a rebellious teenager. With no money to her name and low self-esteem, Christine sets out to start a new life. Unfortunately, she finds herself in another abusive relationship; this time the victim of her husband’s violent temper. At what point does a person say, ‘Enough is enough’ and take that first step towards freedom and control over their life?

Christine finally reaches that point. Determined not to be a victim of her past, and even more resolute on breaking the destructive cycle of revictimisation, Christine starts the slow journey to self-discovery. In doing this, she teaches the reader the power of goal-setting, seeking opportunities, identifying unmet needs and, most importantly, believing in yourself and your ability to achieve things. Christine demonstrates the value of these life lessons in both a personal and business sense, making this book a valuable tool for multiple users.

I can not find anything I dislike about this book, however, there are several aspects of this novel I really appreciate. The way the book is compiled is quite unique. Firstly, unlike many stories about surviving abuse, I feel this book covers the complete lifespan of the author. I have found many comparable stories tend to go into depth about the traumatic experience and the decision to take control of life, but then only dedicate one or two chapters to detailing how this was achieved. As a result, I often feel I have missed half the story. I am delighted that Christine dedicates as much of her book to her road to success as she does about her childhood. She shows the reader that things do not automatically fall into place the moment you decide to take that step towards freedom. Instead, she demonstrates that achieving your goals takes hard work and a lot of belief in yourself and your abilities. Christine openly shares the challenges she faces and how they are overcome.

The second aspect I truly enjoy is how Christine provides the reader with closure about many of the characters they meet throughout the story. This is achieved by writing a chapter summarising what her friends and family are currently doing. To me, this makes the book feel complete.

Finally, to conclude the book, Christine outlines twelve steps towards taking control of your destiny and achieving happiness. This was a great finish to the book and nicely sums up the valuable lessons she has imparted during her story. It also provides easy access for future reference.

Overall, this book is well written. The entire novel only contains a couple of errors, making it exceptional quality. The writing is descriptive and flows perfectly. Christine’s memories are presented in perfect chronological order, while intermittently returning to the present to keep the reader informed of what is occurring between her flashbacks. The movement between these different timeframes is fluid and the transitions are easy to identify. Christine also displays a wonderful talent for describing details in a unique way that stays with the reader.

I have no hesitation in rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. It would appeal to a variety of readers, particularly those who appreciate a story of resilience and strength in the face of adversity. This story also provides encouragement for people wanting to work towards happiness or achieving goals. People interested in starting out in business could also benefit greatly from the valuable business tips contained throughout the book. Finally, while I would recommend caution to those who are sensitive to the subject of abuse, people finding themselves in such a situation may find this book offers them the inspiration they need to take that first step.

No Fourth River. A novel based on a true story.
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Post by KFree_Reads » 13 Feb 2018, 22:23

Lovely review! I am definitely adding this to my shelves. There's just something about the book's title that is so calming. I really love the title, it definitely caught my attention. I liked the point you mentioned regarding the author giving full details about how she was able to overcome her challenges. I do agree some authors do make their triumphs seem too automatic and it does make feel as a reader that something is missing. I'm really glad you mentioned that.

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Post by jwalker73 » 14 Feb 2018, 01:19

Thanks for taking the time to read my review and comment. I definitely appreciated the fact that this book told the complete story. It is always valuable to see how other people tackle life's challenges.

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Feb 2018, 08:17

It's so brave of the author to share her story with others in hopes that they can learn from her past. I love that it's well written as well! This sounds like a truly great novel that can help so many. Thanks for the review.
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Post by CommMayo » 14 Feb 2018, 16:10

I really enjoy reading your reviews. You give a really nice summary of the book and your advanced writing ability really makes me trust your endorsement of it. Thanks for sharing!

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 14 Feb 2018, 18:00

I like that the author shares a raw, personal experience without playing the victim. This will definitely help a lot of people.
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Post by cristinaro » 15 Feb 2018, 05:30

Your review is so enthusiastic about the book that it makes me want to read it. I was attracted by the title as well. Maybe I'll check it out when I have some time.
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Post by Umm_Zahra » 15 Feb 2018, 14:55

I am definitely motivated to read the book after this review. The book's writing style combines two genres that appeal to me. Good job

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Post by Ginge » 19 Feb 2018, 13:07

Jwalker73's review of No Fourth River, a novel by Christine Clayfield is well written and insightful. His review encourages me to read this book as I enjoy reading books about survival.

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Post by smg703 » 20 Feb 2018, 21:56

nice review! I would of never known about this book or been interested without your review. appreciate it.

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Post by prettysmart » 02 Mar 2018, 15:24

Wow this is great... am on a constant quest for motivation. According to your exceptional review, this book warrants serious for thought!

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