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10 thoughts on “Lies a River Deep

  1. says:

    Cook transports the reader to the 1960 s complete with flawed mindset pertaining to women and rape She vividly sets the turbulent times in great detail, thoughts, family and societal expectations, political and sexual tension of the era along with historical references of the period.Rape is not an easy subject matter to approach, yet Cook gives us a rather complicated narrative involving this very touchy topic The narrative is slow to start but its force is felt midway through with increased propulsion Major twists and turns, secrets, deceptions and recollections unfold creating a climactic ending.Bessie is a compelling character As you learn of her brutal rape, the reader is deeply affected As Bessie sifts through the lies, pieces the fragments of her memory you admire her strength for all she endured Her unfaltering strength allows her to handle her rape with impressive emotional and mental composure As her ordeal is brought to light, the culprits, innocent victims and bystanders leave you astonished.A rather powerful narrative with a shocking outcome addressing a topic handled with extreme caution nonetheless controversial in players Laborious and ambitious effort by Cook, well executed.

  2. says:

    Lies A River Deep by Vera Jane Cook Gripping novel deep rooted in humanity, life strides, tragedy, disappointments and a few triumphs Bessie finds herself caught in a situation she never imagined being in Bessie Day Hardy was a high school student, a teenager with friends and a steady boyfriend Roland Miller referred to as a movie star look She doted over him and despite her mother s warnings and protections, Bessielike any young women didn t listen Her mom had a rough time grieving after the man in their lives passed away Bessie did not know her father thus causing emotional and security issues relating to men Though the novel reads as Bessie enjoyed her childhood and was very certain of the territories of the town Chaanakya the neighborhoods where you knew the people could be trusted, well kept gardens and houses seen from the exterior Then the railroad tracks where neighborhoods got sketchy, known for danger Her friends looked forward to the changing seasons especially summer Maggie her best friend, supported Bessie s energy and fondness of her being active in sports very athletic and toned Strength from playing racquetball, tennis balls and cycling It is sure a valuable detail since Bessie will later need to fight off the perpetrator during her sexual violation A man who gave her compliments and showed her interest A man who then stripped her dignity, soul, and body with a violation so damning, anyone would hush about it The era of the 1960 s no one discussed rape From innocence to old age, now in her seventies, the demons of Bessie s adolescence dared her life to be a series of bad habits and suffering The support system of Maggie and later in life, Lily, Bessie relented to put her past behind her Until the day when the character s of her past resurface, aged, wrinkly and out for something So who did rape Bessie back then Was it someone she knew Was it a stranger looking to push boundaries knowing that politics and law would have difficulty protecting in the 1960 s Layed down against her will to be a domineering man The author narrates with passion A depiction of the sorrows one faces Past Chapter 3, the scenes gets violent then tempers only baring heartache for Bessie s character Readers must be brave to follow along and believe in the outlining story of the other characters And how memories do become blurred after forty years Bessie can be respected and valued throughout this book and sequels.

  3. says:

    Exploring the past in the presentNew York City author Vera Jane Cook writes suspense filled sci fi novels PHAROAH S STAR and ANNABEL HORTON, LOST WITCH OF SALEM and now ANNABEL HORTON AND THE BLACK WITCH OF PAU using the moniker Olivia Hardy Ray, and while maintaining her true name, she has authored a number of prize winning women s fiction novels DANCING BACKWARD IN PARADISE, THE STORY OF SASSY SWEETWATER, PLEASANT DAY, WHERE THE WILDFLOWERS GROW, and LIES A RIVER DEEP Her sci fi novels luxuriate in a historical milieu while her women s fiction novels are very much in the contemporary vein Having read a novel in each of this talented author s two realms, it is comfortable to report that she they are fine story spinners The quality of prose is as enchanting as the stories she weaves In her contemporary stories such as LIES A RIVER DEEP she manages to recreate periods of the recent past with such clarity that we feel we are present with the characters She is unafraid to embrace tough subject matter such as rape and aging and other relationship variations and in doing so encourages us to expand our views while identifying with her characters Jane s sensitivity to the process of aging is openly apparent as we read, Bessie chuckled Living long wasn t the blessing it used to be Aging was in the way Couldn t leave a person alone, had to show up and make her breath short, expose every damn vein in her body, and give her the unsightly imprint of impending death Nobody wanted to look at mortality too closely and aging people carry its threat, vulnerably apparent, the weight of its nearness was a monster in the wings where heaven was a nebulous cracked mirror don t look into it, the young whispered don t look yet Meeting Bessie as an elderly woman makes her history and this story s impact significant Jane leaves a brief glance at the story to come In the summer of 1962, at a high school graduation party, Bessie Day Hardy is brutally raped Fifty years later, the consequences of that horrific night will transition into unforeseen events that will shatter her serene and uncomplicated life Vera Jane Cook not only writes well she also allows her readers to explore too seldom viewed vistas of life s slings and arrows Her presence is a significant contribution to expanding our thoughts Recommended.

  4. says:

    Vera Jane Cook s Lies a River Deep is a challenging but incredibly rewarding read The novel deals with some very dark themes, and Cook is unrelenting in her honesty and assessment of these The novel works so well though because of the excellent central character that Cook has created Bessie is a beautifully written protagonist and it is this that makes the exploration of her past so devastating This is a novel that explores the impact that the traumas of our past can have on us and it also explores the way that our families and those close to us can lie about events in order to try and maintain the status quo It s a thrilling read but one that is not for the faint of heart when it comes to certain subject matters Another thing that Lies a River Deep gets right is its period setting Vera Jane Cook expertly takes us back to the 1960s and she doesn t worry about romanticizing it, which makes the novel even stronger.

  5. says:

    Through an intricate weaving of characters, a dramatic event, and fresh information, Vera Jane Cook constructs Lies a River Deep Bessie Day Hardy has tried to put the awful night she was viciously raped behind her, but fifty years later news surfaces that bring back a flood of memories As the story swings back in time, the reader sees a simpler time when life was black and white You don t talk about many things, being a rape victim was a taboo The story swings back to present time and you see how life has changed in fifty years Lies a River Deep by Vera Jane Cook is an eye opener for long term damage done to people who are raped It was interesting to see Bessie Day Hardy s input from when she was a teenager and then again fifty years later This story starts slow, but picks up quickly halfway through This novel will affect you parts are emotional and other parts will make you question humanity The insight from the cat, Spider, is a cute touch.

  6. says:

    I enjoyed this book very much and the ending really surprised me I would recommend to anyone

  7. says:

    Lies A River Deep is an intriguing story about how an older woman deals with the lasting effects from an emotional trauma in her past that has suddenly resurfaced fifty years later.In the summer of 1962, at a high school graduation party, Bessie Day Hardy is brutally raped Fifty years later, Bessie is a widow in her late sixties living peacefully in Chanakya, New York, a picturesque small town in central New York along the Seneca river Bessie s world is turned upside down when the emotional trauma from her past resurfaces and comes back to haunt her and like the flow of the river, it runs deep with many secrets, lies, betrayals, and consequences.Author Vera Jane Cooks weaves a riveting and slow building emotional tale mixed with mystery and suspense that alternates between the past 1960s and the present The complexity of this multi layered story of deep family secrets, lies, and betrayals, easily draws the reader into Bessie s story as her tragic past resurfaces and unravels the inevitable emotional and traumatic revelation of the truth and its consequences The mystery and suspense of Bessie s tragic past keeps the reader engaged and guessing about what really happened on that horrible night, while taking them along Bessie s fifty year journey as she learns to come to terms with the past.With a strong realistic cast of characters powerful dialogue and dramatic interactions and a rich description of the setting, alternating time periods, and suspenseful storyline Lies A River Deep is a compelling and emotional women s fiction story with a satisfying touch of drama and suspense.Disclaimer I received a copy of the book from the author publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.http jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot

  8. says:

    Bessie Day Hardy is a woman in her 60 s living in a small, picturesque town along the Seneca river in central New York Everything in Bessie s life seems to be going well at this point She has friends, she is helpful, she s doing well financially However, a tragic event from her past comes back to haunt her when truths are revealed to Bessie about her brutal rape that took place her during high school Well, I do like dual time stories and Lies a River Deep jumps back and forth between the present and the 1960 s as Bessie recounts her high school days leading up to her rape and the consequences afterwords I really enjoyed the scenes set in the 1960 s better than the present, the cars, the style of dress and the attitudes really brought that time to life As I read about Bessie s high school days, when she dated Roland, her rape and even afterwords, it was like a smack in the face to be reminded of the attitudes towards women and their bodies at the time The mystery surrounding Bessie s rape also drew me in, what really happened on that night What are her friends keeping from her to this day These secrets created suspense within the second half of the book and brought in a thriller feel The writing in the book is very full and rich in simile and metaphor, which is great if you like to know what the river is as cold as and what the air is as cold as, but this writing style got a little bogged down for me I also live near where the book takes place, but I m pretty sure the actual setting is a fictional town, although real town names and landmarks are used throughout the book also I don t know why this bothered me, but it did Overall, Lies a River Deep is a good story about a women s journey about coming to terms with the past.This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

  9. says:

    Bessie is a seventy year old widow living in Chaanakya, New York, with only her cat Spider for company She devotes most of her time to Francine and her son Davy, who were abandoned by Richard a few years ago, leaving them destitute The story in interspersed with flashbacks to when Bessie was a junior in high school, fifty years ago Bessie was going out with Roland, and things were fine until Roland s brother Bart returned to town Then a series of tragic events conspired to ruin the lives of many, and the repercussions are still being felt today But what really happened the night of Roland s graduation What lies were told, and what secrets are still being kept This is a story of family secrets and lies and the consequences every action can have The title can be interpreted in a couple of ways, depending on whether lies is used as a noun or a verb The Seneca River, which runs alongside Bessie s house, is a character in its own right and is featured in many scenes The language is poetic and lyrical and flows much like the river itself There are a few minor editing errors but not enough to detract from the reading experience Interestingly, some parts of the story are told from the point of view of Bessie s cat, Spider this device provides some unusual insights, but I m not convinced it is necessary.An emotional and satisfying read.4.5 starsI received this book in return for an honest review Full blog post

  10. says:

    A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review This book deals with emotional trauma from a bracing up to revisit the past angle Bessie, a victim of a brutal rape deals with her demons from the past, when she was a beautiful teenager, the envy of many Being raped left her shattered Now, 60 years old, she encounters people from her past again The river here plays an important role an abstract form of deep, deadly and buried secrets The support characters, including Bessie s mom, Grey, the dunce of the town and Maggie, his wife, and Lily, Bessie s friend from high school Bessie also had two ardent suitors brothers Bart and Roland One of these suite of people seems to be holding a secret did one of them know about Bessie s rape, and if they did, why did they keep silent about it, is what the book helps us know, as Bessie unravels the happenings of her past The book has a promising premise and plot but the narrative is at times caught between developing the plot and delving into the characters, that it ends losing momentum Had the pace been a tad brisk, the book would have been a much better read Nevertheless, I enjoyed the author s command of the language and enjoyed reading the book I recommend it to lovers of thriller drama hybrids.My rating for this book 3 stars