Book Review: Five Rivers met on a Wooded Plain

Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris


I want to start off by saying, gosh Norris we go through pretty much all a person can experience in this book…thanks for that. It can be heavy at times but Fiver Rivers is written with outstanding beauty. Norris intertwines five lives in one stunning novel, set in Salisbury, slowly revealing aspects about humanity that remain hidden between friends or strangers.

The novel begins quite abruptly with Rita our crude rebel that attracts trouble and then  moves with the juxtaposition of a young man on date. This oddity continues as each character is introduced and Norris reveals more and more of the connection between them which leads to a tear jerking climax.

I love how each of the characters in this novel have their quirks, be it colloquialisms or abbreviations, it all adds to defining them as a character, and as a reader you appreciate every one of them. Although it is sad that you only catch a glimpse of each life, however,  we do get a lot of inner monologue that adds to the richness of the story.

I believe that Five Rivers makes a great comment on what we say and don’t say and made me question how would interactions with other people go if everyone was as honest as their inner monologue?  These big questions is what Norris leaves the reader with in the final chapter wrapping up his story talking about the meaning of life and death, stripping it all back to basics and then throws some more heavy thinking into the mix. Damn Norris…just give me a minute to come up with something before hitting me with the prospect of what mark my life may leave.

A fantastic, thought provoking book. What an amazing glimpse into an ordinary place  full of strangers, looking at how people can weave themselves unknowingly together, yet never really know what the other is thinking, or what something they could have said or done changed another persons life.

Life lessons for us all.

If you have read this book why not let me know what you thought in the comments below.

Also you can check out my 20 Books for 2020 and good reads to keep up to date with what I am reading next: 

Until next time.


20 books for 2020

  1. Philip Pullman – The Subtle Knife
  2. Patrick Ness –A Monster Calls EF015001-950D-45CF-863E-18722F79F5C9
  3. Barney Norris – Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain EF015001-950D-45CF-863E-18722F79F5C9
  4. Shirley  Jackson – Life Among the Savages
  5. Madeline Miller – Circe
  6. Jenni Murray – A history of Britain in 21 Women
  7. Chris Kraus – I Love Dick
  8. Carrie Hope Fletcher – All that she can see
  9. Kathrine Arden – The Bear and the Nightingale
  10. William Golding -The Lord of the Flies
  11. E. M. Forster – Maurice
  12. Philip Pullman – The Amber Spyglass
  13. Alice Walker – The Colour Purple
  14. Zadie Smith – On Beauty
  15. Jennifer Worth – In the Midst of Life
  16. Tim Winton – The Turning
  17. Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
  18. Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus
  19. Matt Haig – How to Stop Time
  20. Brandon Sanderson – Skyward

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Five Rivers met on a Wooded Plain

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