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Summary

From the best-selling author of Time’s Legacy and Lady of Hay comes her thrilling new novel River of Destiny.

On the banks of the River Deben in Suffolk lies a set of barns dating back to the Anglo Saxons. Within their walls, secrets have been buried deeply. Zoe and Ken have just moved into one of the barns, ready to start a new life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. To the outside world they seem like an ordinary couple, but underneath they are growing more distant by the day. And when Zoe becomes close to local recluse, Leo, she finds her attraction to him undeniable.

Whilst farmers are ploughing the land surrounding the barns, sets of human bones are found and when the police arrive it becomes clear that the bones are much older than first suspected…. From an ancient burial ground to a Victorian murder, Erskine will have you gripped to her every word as the mystery unfolds.

©2012 Barbara Erskine (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

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What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Spoiled by the narrator

I love Barbara Eskine and had been waiting for this for a while, but i so wish i had bought the written version. The story is excellent but this narrator ran one section into another - barely drawing breath and when you are changing time zones you really need at least a short pause in between. Often taken by surprise by scene and character changes because of this, then taking a few seconds to get back on course with the story , sometimes winding back to clarify at which point the change had happened. Reading was flat and boring. Such a shame because as always Barbara Erskine has written an excellent tale.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Barbara Erskine at her best

I love the mix of real and ghostly in Barbara Erskines books. This keeps you on your toes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Ms Erskine never disappoints

Not read / listened to Barbara Erskine for a while, I forgot how good she was... Loved the three stories that all entwined, the characters and the narrator... definitely worth a few hours of happy escapism...

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

iver of Destiny<br />

A good story plot though found at times the time shift slightly confusing would recommeand

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable book, with lots of intertwined level

It has been many years since I had read a Barbara Erskine's book, really did not want to switch it off, so many twists and turns, through different events in time. I look forward to hearing more of these types of stories

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Annie
  • Montignac sur Charente, France
  • 03-09-15

Predictable and boring and over-long

What would have made River of Destiny better?

A more animated reader and cutting the story by half

What was most disappointing about Barbara Erskine’s story?

The characters were all one-dimensional; it was very difficult to emphasize with any of them; the story was predictable;

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes - slow and steady. There would have been an improvement if the narrator had hesitated for a moment between time zones - moving straight from the present day to Viking or Victorian times was a little confusing.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No. None of the characters had anything to recommend them: no sense of guilt amongst the married couples being unfaithful, cliched badly behaved children and unsympathetic parents and the obligatory loony middle-aged woman. Appalling

Any additional comments?

I have read Barbara Erskine novels in the past and enjoyed them; this was the worst one I've listened to and it will be the last.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Hooked from the start. The plot was addictive and the characters well drawn. So glad that the ending ended hopefully

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Nearly gave up 1/2 way, but pleased I finished

Any additional comments?

Even after finishing, I'm still not sure about this one. For me, Barbara Erskine has never topped Lady of Hay or Kingdom of Shadows but as LoH is abridged and KoSh not recorded, thought I'd try it. I lived in that part of Suffolk for over 20 years, and loved hearing the local references, but the story began to drag for me part way through. The narration was ok, even with a couple of strange mispronounciations, and the book did pick up pace later. What lets it down is the production. The whole thing is set around 3 ancient barns, much rebuilt over time and now finally converted to upmarket homes, and a nearby Anglo Saxon burial mound. Echoes and shadows from tragedies in both the Anglo Saxon time and the mid-1800s spill into the present day and lives and memories become entwined. Add to that an aggressive 'right to roam' campaigner who portrays the worst behaviours of townie incomers riding roughshod over local tradition and there's an additional clash. Maybe it was deliberate, for dramatic effect, but the narration moves within the 3 time frames without a pause for breath, sometimes all in the same sentence. That can make it hard to keep up with, but rather than the reading, I suspect that is down to the editing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unputdownable!

What did you like most about River of Destiny?

Fabulous storyline, as always with Barbara, brilliant the way the story intertwines between the past and the present day. Very easy to follow characters which always leaves you wanting to know more of their story and how they fit into the overall scheme of things. Never disappointing.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters are so appealing, you just NEED to know what happens at every turn, never a dull moment. The anticipation of what's about to happen (in your imagination) is never a let down. The book is written with excitement and the complexity of some of the characters are explained so well it's just unputdownable. Gina Peach the narrator made the story even more exciting, her accents and pronounciation were brilliant. She brought all of the characters to life and made the book a great read. I will search out other books she has narrated as I enjoyed this so much,

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Many scenes as Gina Peachs' narration brought so much to vivid life. I particulary enjoyed the past times scenes such as 'Gods' or 'Protectors' standing over burial sites, very vivid, you could see the vibrant colours with ease. I enjoyed the last few scenes where the story was coming to an end and obvious happiness was just waiting around the corner. Also when the 'story' comes together and some characters realise that they were 'just meant to be together!'

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Cry, grip onto edge of seat, cry, smirk, delight in justification being served where deserved, and cry some more!

Any additional comments?

Loved it! Loved the Story, Loved the way of writing, Loved the narration! Just loved it, as I have with all of Barabara's books from the fateful day on a far distant shore I spotted a rather large tome in a hotel bookshop! After reading Child of the Phoenix I was hooked!
Great Read!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Anglo Saxon Ripples

You know the layout of Erskine novels, something happens in the past and this filters through to present day via ghosts; yet even with this knowledge, you aren't disappointed.

A couple move into a renovated barn and take to the river only to discover a ghost viking ship. Various other oddities appear, a fertility statuette and horse shoe nails. Where are these objects coming from and how do they relate to the Anglo Saxon trials of an overworked blacksmith?

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • 11-02-13

Romantic Entertainment With Suspense

Where does River of Destiny rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The audiobook is an interesting and entertaining experience ... Although engaging, the book does not provoke deeper thoughts or lasting impression... It is, however, amongst the most entertaining books I have listened to so far.

What other book might you compare River of Destiny to and why?

The Book isn't as good as The Lady of Hay but is similarly structured.

Which character – as performed by Gina Peach – was your favorite?

I didn't really have a favourite, but I found Gina conveyed a variety of characters very effectively.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, it just was good entertainment.