Friday, May 3, 2013

“The River and The Sea” by James Ferron Anderson, reviewed by Liam Terry

Love, the futility of war and intense jealousy – three themes which, in the right hands, can all add up to a fantastic story.

Throw in the harsh frozen wastelands of Canada, a happy-go-lucky chancer and a middle-class English Rose and you have all the ingredients for an epic tale of love, loss and envy. This book, by author James Ferron Anderson, was simply superb (and like me, he's from Norwich, UK, so all the better).

I stumbled across James and The River and The Sea when I heard him on Stephen Bumfrey’s show on Radio Norfolk last week. As you may know, I go on Radio Norfolk once a month to give three books I enjoyed a plug – and so was very keen to download this one, simply for the Norfolk connection.

This story, set in Canada in WW1, is hard to describe, so bear with me.

In a nutshell, Jack Butler is an Irish chancer who ends up taking a job working in an apple orchard for Sarah – an English woman who is running an estate while her husband, Edward, is fighting at the front.

They end up falling in love.

Then, when the War ends, Edward comes back. And Jack’s heart breaks.

Green with envy, with his heart pining for Sarah, Jack continues to work the orchard. When Edward invites him to the frozen plains of the North to go to trap foxes, he agrees…. With mortal consequences.

From the very first chapter you are captivated by the frozen tundra, Edward and Jack together, in a cabin, starving. Bit by bit you learn about their love for the same woman. With no food, and with Jack injured, you can’t help but turn each page – the story was so cleverly told, and so full of emotion.

By the time you get to the end, well, let’s just say “the river” plays a major, shocking and sad part in this tale.

Thank you James, for such a captivating read. You can tell you love Canada! But not more than you love our fine city of Norwich, hey?

The River and the Sea is available for sale through here.

Liam Tarry is The Book Boy. Born in Norwich, England, in October 1983, he’s been reading for as long as he can remember. In fact, his earliest memory is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl at the age of four (yes, four!).  He set up The Book Boy – a sort of online diary-esque-book-review site to share his love of books with you and give you some top reads to check out. Check out The Book Boy here.

Quick Brown Fox welcomes book reviews and other book related pieces. Quick Brown Fox also welcomes reviews of plays, movies, restaurants and anything else that catches your fancy. Reviews may be straight up or tongue in cheek. You might review restaurants you can’t afford, based on what you see peering through the window or otherwise use your imagination to get up to some mischief. Email your review to me at

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond

No comments:

Post a Comment