The River of No Return – Bee Ridgway

The river of no return

‘Time is like a river. It always flows in one direction.’  What if everything you thought was certain was not?

1812: On a lonely battlefield in Spain, Lord Nicholas Falcott, Marquess of Blackdown, is about to die …. But, the next moment, he inexplicably jumps forward in time, nearly two hundred years – very much alive. Taken under the wing of a mysterious organisation, The Guild, he receives everything he could ever need under the following conditions:

He can’t go back.  He can’t go home.  He must tell no one.

Accepting his fate, Nicholas begins a life of luxury as a twenty-first century New York socialite, living happily thus for the next ten years. But, when an exquisite wax sealed envelope brings a summons from the Alderwoman of The Guild, Nicholas is forced to confront his nineteenth century past.

Back in 1815, Julia Percy’s world has fallen apart. Her enigmatic grandfather, the Earl of Darchester, has died and left her with a closely guarded secret, one she is only now discovering – the manipulation of time. In terrible danger from unknown enemies, Julia flees her home to the sanctuary of neighbouring Falcott House. In this strange place Julia and a recently returned Nicholas are drawn to each other and together they realise how little Julia knew about her beloved grandfather and begin to understand his ominous last words…


Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for sending me an uncorrected proof copy of this book to read and give an honest review.  I was thoroughly intrigued by the blurb and couldn’t wait to start reading it!

Right from the start I was captivated by the wonderful writing and intriguing storyline – initially I was in 1815 with Julia and her grandfather, I was given just enough information to let me know what was going on but also to tease me with a mystery or two.  Then I met Nick who was in 2013 at that time, I knew he was a time traveller from reading the blurb so I was keen to hear about his life and I looked forward to finding out the exact details of how he got there.  Nick repeatedly mentioned ‘the girl with the dark eyes’ and I couldn’t wait to find out who she was and how he knew her – yet another exciting mystery to solve.

Reading about the moment Nick first jumped through time was fantastic and one of my favourite parts of the book, I particularly enjoyed Nick’s reaction to modern-day items and I imagined finding myself in the same situation  – how bizarre every day items would seem to someone from that time.  By that point I was fully immersed in the wonderfully imaginative world of time travel, secrets and mystery that I couldn’t put the book down if I had wanted to!

The Guild was a bit of a puzzle for me to begin with, it claimed to provide everything a time traveller would need and nothing was required in return, but I had an uncomfortable feeling about it and didn’t totally trust the people in charge.  Nick attended their future school where he learned how to be a modern man, it was here that I discovered a few of the schools students felt the same way I did about the Guild and this was another factor that held my interest so completely.

After Julia’s grandfather had passed away I learned a little bit more about the art of playing with time and this was something else I had been looking forward to.  Obviously as the story progressed I learned more of the finer details of ‘jumping’ and by the end I felt rather knowledgeable on the subject :).  Julia’s cousin Eamon had taken her grandfathers title but he was a nasty man who was after the secret of time for himself and unfortunately for Julia he made his horrible presence felt on more than one occasion.

When Nick made his return to 1815 it was everything I had hoped it would be – mixing his knowledge of the future with the reality of that time was not easy for him and I found myself waiting for him to slip up and reveal something he shouldn’t!  Romance was also made more difficult because Nick had grown accustomed to ladies of the 21st century who weren’t quite as innocent as the ladies from his own time.

What followed was incredibly exciting, it was full of time travelling rules and politics that sometimes became quite dangerous.  The story was imaginative but the author had written it in such a way that it somehow felt believable and maybe even a little bit possible (my imagination certainly ran away with me while I was reading it).  The ending seemed to indicate that there is more to come and if that is the case then I am so excited about what lies ahead!

This was an addictive, mysterious and exciting read that captured my imagination entirely.


Bee was born and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, in a parsonage made from three stuck-together old cottages.  She then attended Oberlin College, worked for a year in features at Elle Magazine, and went on to Cornell for a doctoral degree in English literature.  After several years spent chasing research material and true love around the UK, she settled down to teach American literature at Bryn Mawr College.  Bee lives with her partner in Philadelphia.  The River of No Return is her first novel.

To find out more about Bee Ridgway click on the following links:

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The River of No Return is published by Penguin/Michael Joseph and released on 23 May 2013, you can purchase it from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.