The River

My copy of Rumer Godden's slim novel, The River, is not as pretty as this. It's a 1963 edition, once a school text (belonging to Robert Fletcher, VB) and covered in pencil marks.

Published in 1946, The River was one of Rumer Godden's earliest books, and most elements will be familiar to anyone who has read other examples of her work: the Indian setting; the children living in their own world, only occasionally intersecting with the adults; the gradual unfolding of maturity, punctuated with sudden transformative experience; the vivid, evocative descriptions of river and garden, village and house. Godden would return to these themes again and again through her long career, but this short novel is just about a perfect encapsulation of her writing.

I don't think anyone, alive or dead, writes as beautifully, gracefully and acutely as Rumer Godden.

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