Reviews


I was impressed

Honestly….I was really quite impressed. You have a from-the-heart tale that resonates. This novel is very well written, a real page turner. It’s inspirational and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

 

Amanda Rogers, Proofreader


Powerful stuff

This is powerful stuff. I like your frank, no excuses yet no shame writing style. It’s rare to find a script that actually has me thinking about it later. A story that strikes at a visceral level and latches onto the brain like a tick… now that’s good writing.

Richard Peters, Editor


Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. Gosh what a life! I am never saying again that I am struggling after reading this book! I love Christine’s writing style.”

Tina Cowley, Beta Reader


Clearly written from the heart.

“Most of the novels I read are fancy-pancy-style-writing. Not this one. It is clearly written from the heart and that shines through the book.”

Emily Verdeen, Beta Reader


Powerful, enlightening and inspiring.

“This story is beyond belief. Powerful, enlightening and inspiring. It’s a shame I can’t give it 10 stars.”

Anthony Dabston


I loved this book

I loved this book. A real page turner and so much life in 300 pages! The novel is fast paced and the author caries you with her as she takes you on her life’s journey and events unfold. A gripping, yet inspirational story of love and conquering adversity and one woman’s struggle through childhood, adolescence and womanhood.

Her courage, bravery, sheer determination and self-belief leads her out of a harmful, reckless and destructive world (which nearly cost her life) into an auspicious, happy and fulfilled world where Christine becomes a successful business woman and much loved wife and mother.

A profound read, disturbing at times (it kept me awake at night) but thoroughly immerseable with a strong focus on the power of love and self-belief.

A “must” read for anyone whose lost direction or having difficulty in life and needs a positive influence and some encouraging words.

Sheena, Newton


From hell to heaven

I’ve read many personal histories in my life. Mostly about valiant women who have survived horrors that you only see in Hollywood movies. But, this is not horror, this is real. An unloved young girl loses everything and has to overcome the worst that life can throw to have the very best in life in the end. From Hell to Heaven, No Fourth River offers you the keys to Christine’s success.  HINT: No luck involved. I could taste the blood …. it was that real..

Jay, C. Polmar


Gripping, inspiring, harrowing and uplifting.

A real page-turner of a book. A true story of survival and triumph. Intensely honest, powerful and well written. Physical and sexual abuse, deceit, family betrayal, promiscuity, fear and loathing. Under the glittering surface of the diamond trade darkness and despair lies. An inspiring journey from shame and brutality to triumph and success. I highly recommend reading this book.

David, Review on Amazon.com


Recommended

Inspiring book! Well written. Couldn’t stop reading. Recommended.

Anna Roberts, Review on Amazon.co.uk


You won’t want to put this down!

From the very moment I began reading No Fourth River, I was hooked. The fact that this is a true story makes it that much better. The hardships that Christine faced in her lifetime are almost impossible to imagine, but being a part of her journey in this compelling life story really makes you feel like you are there in the moment with her. Christine has a unique way of telling her story that captivates the reader to the very last word. I look forward to reading it again!

Amanda, Review on Amazon.com


No Fourth River

I enjoyed this book No Forth River very much.Full of emotion,struggle,fight & strength.
A true story of one woman’s struggle. The harsh realities of how we as human being can be so distuctive, not only to ourselves but each other. How we as human beings have the ability to survive and how sheer willpower, self belief, hard work and love can give us strength
I felt I was on the journey with the main character, I shared her pain and enjoyed her triumphs.
This book has made me think about my own life journey, so far, “my story”.
It has, I believe inspired me to continue to achieve my own goals in life. Specially in those moments of doubt. I will remind myself of this story and what can be achieved, if you really put the effort in.

Andy McNab, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Couldn’t put it down!

Amazing book! Really teaches you to rethink your life and your worries… shows you that everything works out in the end and to keep fighting!! Highly recommend to anyone who is looking to turn their life around… or just someone looking for a good read 🙂

Sarah, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Riveting Read! Eye-opening and inspiring

The harrowing tale of a woman’s journey surviving shocking abuse. On my bookshelf to read again.
I finished this book within 2 days, simply because I needed to know how it all ends for Christine!
It is one of those books that sucks you in and you live through Christine’s story along with her. The writing is immaculate.
I will not include any spoilers, but let me tell you that although what happens in the beginning riles up negative emotions, like anger and shock, it gives the 2nd half of the book even more impact.
You do want to finish this book, because the author does not just share her story, she shares the reasons and lessons from her story.

Zee Sharp, Review on Amazon.co.uk


A True Life, Riveting Story

For the record: I do not know Christine personally, we just recently became acquainted via our respective businesses and I was interested in her story and book. This is an unbiased review.

I was asked to produce a video trailer for this book and during the process, came across headlining terms such as “abused, disfigured little girl”, “brutal marriage”, “promiscuity”, etc. It sounded quite intense, like it almost had to be a fictional drama. Instead, it is indeed a true story, one that leaves you a bit stunned at the happenings in Christine’s early life. Her father is, quite simply, a monster, and the abuse she endures is vicious. She describes very specific incidents not in a “woe is me” way, but more analytically, and that’s a great approach. The facts are the facts, and it’s up to us, the reader, to respond in our own way.

I was most taken by the way Christine somehow found she had enough ambition and determination to push herself into a successful career and several businesses. This really struck me because through her mid-twenties, she’d experienced nothing but grief and torment. Her rise to prominence truly is inspiring.

Barr26, Review on Amazon.co.uk and .com


A thought-provoking, honest, inspirational book which teaches many lessons to all who want to learn

What a revelation of a book! The first thing I noticed was Christine’s focus on sharing her life’s lessons. So the focus is on the reader straight away. And for sure – there are so many lessons to learn… It is a very honest account of a woman’s will to not only survive but thrive – despite the deeply unfortunate and often distressing circumstances she was born into and had been through in her life.

No child should experience lack of love, isolation and outright abuse. And no adult either. It requires a lot of willpower and a simple will to live in order to get out of this horrific cycle even once. Christine has been through three of them (hence the title of the book I believe). Not only has she survived, but has become a very successful self-made entrepreneur and a recognised author.

I have learned so much for myself from “No Fourth River”! It makes me ask myself – if Christine has overcome so much adversity and has made her life a success in every sense, whatever on Earth can stop me? I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who feels they are a victim of circumstances, since victimood keeps us stuck in life. The goal of this book is to inspire and show that you too can break the cycle of misfortune and rise above anything that holds you back.

Pure Nature Cure, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Courageous and inspiring.

Here is a superbly inspiring work of courage and honesty. This book contains the deeply moving account of one person’s journey in life through profound difficulties in order to find, to unlock and to set free their true self and potential. In a searingly personal description the author does not spare herself as she paints the clearest of pictures of what happened, and of those who played their parts, for better or for worse – herself included.

This is a book that you won’t forget when you’ve read it, and, in my own case, is a book that I shall read again and reference as I do so, such is Christine’s power of mapping out what can ultimately be achieved in life, no matter what adversity you face. I really cannot recommend highly enough this account of triumph in the face of immense obstacles that really would have stopped most people, and for anyone who wishes to shine a light on their own path and be guided towards a better tomorrow, Christine can become their guiding light. It takes a very brave and special person to step out into the open and declare before all their deepest secrets and weaknesses, but at the same time, to offer a helping hand to all who would wish to walk along the same path towards the kind of successes in life that Christine has achieved.

Do not let this book pass you by – I am hugely pleased and grateful that I have found and read it. I thank you Christine. I salute you.

Johnmichael, Review on Amazon.co.uk


An entertaining and educational read you will not be able to put down

I was sent this book as a gift and it arrived at a very busy point in my life. For a week or so, I could not even open the envelope. Then something very unusual happened. Despite my hectic schedule, once I started to read, I could not put down this incredible story, however hectic was my life Christine engages the reader’s attention from the very first page, with the mysterious title. I do not wish to give away too much of the twists and turns of this incredibly undulating tale but let me say that it’s one heck of a great read. It is well written, gripping, sad, harrowing and triumphantly victorious all in one.

The description on each page is piercingly graphic, so as you witness some scenes, you feel as though you wish you could leap inside the pages to defend its innocent victims – but you can’t and so you watch from the sidelines as your admiration for the heroine author grows. As the book progresses, the brave character of the writer starts to touch your heart and by the time the book comes to an end, you feel as if you are saying goodbye to a wonderful, courageous friend whom you wish to hug with great warmth. This is a fantastic book to read while travelling, which would make any journey fly by and you may miss your stop! However, it is also an educational tome in that there are lessons along the way which would be of benefit to anyone who has to face major challenges and needs encouragement and inspiration.

I am giving it five stars because this book is a first-class document which is not only entertaining but also dynamically tutorial. It should be prescribed reading for everyone over the age of fifteen. There is wisdom at the end of each tale like a light at the end of every tunnel. Highly recommended – buy it for anyone you know who feels isolated and unloved to show how the biggest heartbreaks can be the foundations to making a fantastic heroine or hero.

M Motivates, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Moving and inspiring

The emotional and physical abuse endured by the writer is truly harrowing and I found reading some sections hard. However, this book very quickly draws you in and keeps you at Christine’s side. I needed to know not only what happened but how she survived the massive damage done by those who should have loved and nurtured her.

This is a truly inspiring survivor’s tale and the book is remarkable in terms of its honesty and its total lack of self-pity or sentimentality. An absorbing and worth-while read that vividly illustrates the deep and astonishing healing qualities of real, true love!

Selwyn Andelson, Review on Amazon.co.,uk


Who learns to love and trust again

This a page turner of a book. So well written and gripping it was so difficult to put down. The book takes you on a journey of heart break and sorrow of a frightened, bullied little girl who finds the strength from within and grows into a strong indepedent woman, who learns to love and trust again. Brilliant book, highly recommended

No Name, Review on Amazon.co.uk


A truly inspiring and authentically written book

What a truly inspiring and empowering read! I read this book in two days I couldn’t put it down. Christine’s story resonated with me on many levels, especially in the way she was able to move beyond her past and become a successful woman despite everything. Christine shows you that with faith and belief the the impossible is possible and that we can move forward despite the happenings of life. She truly is an inspiration and her story not only reads as a novel, but also is intertwined with solid advice and suggestions on how to get from where you are to where you want to be.

She is a pillar of hope, of true determination and persistence and imparts the same on her readers. A fantastic book, which I can highly recommend to anyone who is tied in their past or current situation – you can make that decision. You can move beyond your fears and perceived limitations. Christine Clayfield shows you that yes, you can!

Diana Blanco, Review on Amazon.co.uk


A fascinating book which plumbs the depths of despair

A fascinating book which plumbs the depths of despair fro young woman, brought up in a family with the tyrannical father. I found the first part book quite depressing, and I have no idea how she put up with the torments heaped upon, by her father. However, gradually get to understand the father and the family and its success she makes out of her life, against all the odds.

Mr. A. Youens, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Fantastic and Compelling Read

I’m only about two-thirds of the way through this book, but I just had to go ahead and review it.

I’ve loved it so far. It’s rather heart-breaking, but I have a feeling that the resolution will be quite cathartic. The story chronicles the struggles of a young girl who is faced with unthinkable challenges and trials, yet somehow manages to keep putting one foot in front of the other in particularly admirable fashion.

But, unlike many other, similar stories, which often feel trite, this book takes a fresh approach to the “Overcoming the Monster” story archetype, and it has completely sucked me in. I find myself thinking about her experiences when driving or just daydreaming – it’s pretty infectious. You’ll feel a sense of dread every time one of the antagonists appears (I don’t want to spoil anything and tell you which one), and you’ll silently cheer for every victory Christine enjoys. And though the book is largely serious and somber, there are a few small moments of levity to help prevent reader fatigue.

The writing is crisp and clear, and, if you’ll forgive the cliché, it is quite a page-turner. I highly recommend it.

Amazon Customer, Review on Amazon.com


Just have to share this book with you all as I know you’ll love it!

No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield. What a truly inspiring and empowering read! I read this book in two days I couldn’t put it down. Christine’s story resonated with me on many levels, especially in the way she was able to move beyond her past and become a successful woman despite everything.

Christine shows you that with faith and belief the the impossible is possible and that we can move forward despite the happenings of life. She truly is an inspiration and her story not only reads as a novel, but also is intertwined with solid advice and suggestions on how to get from where you are to where you want to be.

She is a pillar of hope, of true determination and persistence and imparts the same on her readers. A fantastic book, which I can highly recommend to anyone who is tied in their past or current situation – you can make that decision. You can move beyond your fears and perceived limitations. Christine Clayfield shows you that yes, you can!

Lessons-on Self, Facebook


Poignant, moving read.

No Fourth River is a poignant, moving read that made me feel a lot of host of different emotions. This moving piece of literature may be hard-hitting at times, but it is an essential read because it will make the reader aware, and shed light on a subject and happenings that not too many people think about. That is why already I have to implore you lovely readers to read this moving book; it is beautiful, heart-breaking and touching all at the same time, and you will not be disappointed if you read it.

No Fourth River chronicles the life and struggles of a young girl who faces unspeakable acts, crimes, tribulations and many more things. It is, however, a powerfully moving book that will be an inspiration to many people and so, I would already implore you wonderful readers to read this incredible book.

Christine Clayfield has written her story in a way which speaks to the reader. At the core of her story, told in a novelized way,  is the tone of refusing to be a victim and that there is hope, even after a traumatic period. Her inspiring words and lessons laced throughout have made me want to be a better human being… I love when a book makes me feel this way. I love feeling inspired and wanting to be a better human, so again, I applaud Clayfield for her talent to reach me, and hopefully the rest of her readers to feel this way.

Clayfield is a fantastic writer, and I was impressed by the high quality of her words, she has poured her heart and soul into her book, and has been so open. I admire her for this and her message of hope which is prominent throughout her book. Clayfield is a good human being… the world may be full of terrible people but if there are more people like Clayfield then the world would be ok. Her words were eloquent as well as poignant; she knows how to evoke feelings/emotions in the reader as she took me on a roller coaster of emotions. She is a talented author and a well-accomplished woman, and so I can’t help but adore her!

To conclude my thoughts on this sensational book, I would say if you are looking to read a beautiful, moving, elegantly written memoir that will entertain you then this wonderful book is for you! This book gets Five Stars!

Aimee Ann, Redheadedbooklover


Extremely Inspirational

If this book doesn’t inspire the people who read it to try and aim for better things in life, then I don’t know of one that will. From being at the her lowest ebb Christine has fought her way back to true acumen and beyond.

Pete Richards, Review on Amazom.co.uk


I was not disappointed

This book was recommended to me, I have to say when I read the synopsis I was quite intrigued, mostly by how does this story ends; does Christine (the protagonist) really escape this life? What happens to her?

I was not disappointed as the story certainly delivered, approximately half of the novel is about Christine’s life as a young woman where she finds her courage, created financial stability and most importantly for soppy hearts like me- she found love.

Sandra, Goodreads.com


An Amazing Testament of Accomplishment Despite Adversity

I read this book in two days. It was so compelling that despite how disturbing it was, I could not put it down.

As shocking, frightening and sad as this author’s accounting of her early years were, this book was both terrifying and inspirational and an impressive tribute to the strength and determination that she fought through to positively transform her life. Reading this book could greatly benefit and empower women (or anyone in an abusive situation) everywhere.

I was left with the message that despite how many of us have suffered untold atrocities that we’d rather not think about, we all have the power to choose to accomplish anything and truly create the life of our dreams.

Boris, Review on Amazon.ca


A heartbreaking yet inspirational read

Whilst at times it was a harrowing read I also found myself not wanting to put it down. Christine describes a terrible childhood characterised by bullying and abuse from both her father at home and at the boarding school she was sent to at a young age followed by a life of promiscuity and alcohol. This is a story of moving away from your past and finding happiness and shows that you can turn your life around and find success no matter how hard your start in life is. It is a truly heartbreaking yet inspirational story.

Drama Queen, Review on Amazon.co.uk


This book certainly delivers!

I started reading this book and completed it within a week, I was gripped from the first chapter and could not put it down.
Christine tells the story of her childhood growing up with a very strict father and enduring a life of physical and mental abuse from early life through to adulthood. Although very hard to read at times due to the nature of the story unfolding it becomes a journey of one woman’s fight for survival against the life she has endured, through to the turn around of love and passion and then pure determination to succeed.
This brilliantly written book leaves you feeling truly inspired and motivated that whatever walk of life you come from and however hard things are you can get through it and go on to a better life. I really enjoyed this book and will certainly be reading it again!

Sheila, Review on Amazon.co.uk


A book to read again!

This novel took me on a roller-coaster of feelings. It lead me to reflect on my own life and realize how much I’ve taken for granted. Highly recommend.

edwardb, Review on Amazon.com


Inspirational read

An amazing story of heart, courage and one woman’s determination to bettering herself. From the horrors of her youth with her father and boarding school to her quest to make something of her life. Very well written and before you know it you’ve finished the book wanting more.

K Reid, Review on Amazon.co.uk


…Role model for a long time – as a brilliant businesswoman, as well as the human behind…

Christine has been my role model for a long time – as a brilliant businesswoman, as well as the human being behind that brilliant business head. For the longest time, I’ve been breaking my head over the question “How can I learn more about this women? How did she become who she is today?”. I had no idea that my secret wish to know Christine more was about to be fulfilled fairly soon! This book has not disappointed me – from an artistic or human perspective. I had so much respect for Christine, to begin with, but after reading her story…I think I’m in love with this remarkable woman!

Tati C., Review on Amazon.co.uk


I will be gifting this book to people in my life that I care about.

In the era of awakening to how the world has been treating women, in the times of the #metoo campaign that made us aware of things we didn’t see thus far,

Christine’s No Forth River is completely aligned with this recent trend in our society. Although, in Christine’s case the #metoo doesn’t even begin to cover it. I will be gifting this book to people in my life that I care about because if someone like Christine is able to thrive, find happiness, peace of mind, not to mention palpable, undeniable success, then the rest of us have little excuses not to go after our dreams and the things we believe in.

From the artistic perspective, you won’t be able to put this book down – cruel upbringing, nuns from hell, forbidden love – to name just a few. This book deserves 5 starts plain and simple!

Paperback review, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Quite a refreshing approach that is entirely selfless.

Heart wrenching at first but, you soon learn that little Christine grows into a woman with an iron will.

Quite effectively this book is divided into two, the first section follows Christine’s childhood and early teens, while the second half focuses on the adult.

Some of the things she shares seem unreal and it brings out anger and a desire to protect an innocent child.

What is encouraging and unlike other books in the same genre is how the author, Christine herself uses this book and the story of her life to give hope. It is not enough that she shared her story; she endeavours to empower the reader. It is quite a refreshing approach that is entirely selfless. The end section is full of encouraging lessons and advice so for the reader, whether you are a victim of violence and abuse yourself or not.

This enticed my curiosity about Christine, the author and I find that she has spend a lot of years, teaching and empowering entrepreneurs to ‘take control of their finances’. So it is obvious that this lady has dedicated a big part of her life to better the lives of others.

CarolineS, Review on Goodreads.com


Great read!

I found the book captivating, even though the first 26 years of the author’s life was tumultuous I was hooked wanting to see how it all ended. It’s a harrowing and gripping tale of a young woman’s battle for survival in an hostile environment.
First her father and then her husband would be her tormentor. How she managed to pick her self up despite all the horrendous happenings is a testimony to the author’s courage and determination.
I would definitely recommend reading this, as in the end it gives the authors messages on how to lead a successful life which i found extremely useful.

RS, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Inspiring!

Wow. From the moment I started reading this novel, I became engrossed in Christine Clayfield’s story. I found it hard to put this book down and finished it in three sittings. Although the content of the early years recounts a painful time, Christine is no victim of her past. Indeed, with fortitude and extreme courage she fights back to reclaim her life as an independent and strong woman. I couldn’t help but admire her inner-strength as she battled, sometimes against the odds, to survive and grow.

Her story is truly inspirational. A must read for anyone struggling to break free from a difficult past, or for anyone who just enjoys a great read.  No Fourth River is one of those rare books that will stay with you long after you finish reading. 23.1.2018

S Houston, Review on Amazon.co.uk


Onwards and upwards….

A holiday read I never put down, I was gripped from the start finding it hard to understand how life can treat you, good or bad. What a lady !!!

Lester, Review on Amazon.co.uk


A book that absorbs its reader

A truly shocking life story that captivates its reader from the very first moment you start reading it. Besides a powerful and emotional story it has an easily understandable and readable language style studded full with interesting expressions speaking from a not native English speaker’s point of view. I highly recommend reading the book.Beat

Beata, Review on Amazon.com


I WILL SURVIVE!!! I WILL SURVIVE!!!!

This is not the first time I’ve read a true story of a woman’s triumph over the baggage she’s been forced to endure, and it probably won’t be the last.

It took me longer for me to read this book than I’d anticipated. Why? Because with the strings of my heart being pulled because of this author’s writing, I could somehow sense she wants someone’s hand to hold as she endures the horrors of what has been her life. For some reason I wish I could turn off the picture running in my mind, but I kept on reading this book page after page after page.

One would think coming from a wealthy family she’d have a childhood any child only dreams of having; but the reality had been it wasn’t. Packed off to a boarding school is where her family had sent, only to find there a traumatic, hostile environment along with the one she suffered at home with; which caused her to become sort of a renegade against the life she so far had been forced to endure.

As a renegade her life now consisted of deviant sexual behavior and free flowing alcohol, a lifestyle we can easily expect would lead to her falling in love with the wrong kind of guy and marrying him; which is precisely what had happened to her. There’s no need for me to go into any details here, for you can just imagine what he did to her.

It was only when she found herself committed to ending the unbelievable despair that she’s been living in and to pull herself out of it by the bootstraps that I heard Gloria Gaynor’s song “I Will Survive” playing in my mind. [Listen to this song on YouTube is see what I mean]

“Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive.”

Apparently, her plan to survive has succeeded, just look at who she’s become. And this, her story, could serve as an example of what can happen when someone possesses a lot of willpower and perseverance to overcome the adversities in their lives. And for allowing her readers to share what she had to endure, I happy to give this book’s author, Christine Clayfield, 5 STARS.

Robin Leigh Morgan, Review on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk


An Insightful look At Being Raised By A Narcissist

Written from the heart, “Fourth River” made me feel as though Christine was sitting beside me for several hours, telling me the most intimate details of her dramatic life story. What I appreciated most was that it was such an insightful look at being raised by a narcissist.

You might think coming from a wealthy family might help in such circumstances, but being raised by someone who no only lacks the ability to care for others but seeks to annihilate their worth at every turn is viscerally upsetting in any scenario. The memory of watching her mother walk home five kilometers beside a car driven by her drunk father, who throws her out for protesting his inability to drive the family home safely particular stands out as a poignant moment that encapsulates the fact that it was not only Christine, but her mother and brothers who suffered from being raised by a tyrant.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is this: “Shame is a funny thing. It stretches across your heart and keeps you from the experiences that might reignite the spark to make you happy again.” Another is, “One kind of abuse does not remove the pain of another, especially when you are plunged back into it like a seedling drowned in water.”

For anyone who has had a narcissist in their life (and hopefully disconnected with them to save their sanity), this is a deeply moving look at how those who suffer manage to survive and, in Christine’s case, ultimately thrive.

Wyborn Senna, Review on Amazon.com


A chilling, inspirational, and enlightening reminder that we control our destiny

Like Christine, I have had a traumatic childhood. When one is so affected by his or her past and continues to deal with the consequences, it is hard to realize that there may be other people who have dealt with just as many obstacles. Heartache comes in many forms.

This book was enlightening and inspirational. There were moments where I found myself in complete desperation, wanting to remove Christine from her surroundings, wanting to shake her and tell her “enough is enough.” When that realization finally come to her, on her own, it immediately brought tears to my eyes. We are all the authors of our own book, and we all have those loved ones that sometimes want to shake us and make everything better for us, but we have to do that on our own.

On a flight I recently had, I was reading this book. I went through about 150 pages in an hour on the flight. When I finally closed the book as we prepared for landing, the girl next to me on the plane tapped me on the shoulder and told me she had been reading over my shoulder, and she was now invested in the future of Christine.

The good news for her is that the future turned out quite bright.

I feel a rush of endless motivation to achieve my own goals after finishing this book, and I know if you read it, you will too.

Rosa Sifuentes, Review on Amazon.com


I cannot find anything I dislike about this book

No Fourth River is a novel by Christine Clayfield. Told in the first-person perspective, this story incorporates many themes including abuse, survival, challenges and, ultimately, personal growth. The author, who today is a successful businesswoman, felt inspired to write this book in the hope that she could offer some guidance and inspiration to others by sharing her life story. Perfectly described as ‘creative non-fiction’, this book blends factual life events with the writing style of a fictional novel. This makes the story both easy to read and engaging while imparting some inspiring and motivational messages.

No Fourth River starts with Christine receiving a call from her brother. Upon hearing that her mother is gravely unwell and in an induced coma, Christine rushes to the hospital to be by her mother’s side. While keeping vigil, Christine finds herself having flashbacks to her youth. The ensuing recollections take the reader on a journey through Christine’s life, from the age of five to the present.

Growing up with a physically abusive father, and then sent to boarding school where she is the subject of further bullying and intimidation, Christine longs to escape her life. Happiness is a concept she wants to experience since she had no idea what that emotion feels like. The hostile environment Christine is raised in is all that she knows and, therefore, considers this ‘normal’. To make matters even more difficult, Christine’s internally harboured stress sees her develop an embarrassing psychosomatic condition. In an attempt to cure this affliction, Christine’s parents then subject her to some barbaric medical treatments. Over the years, Christine transforms from a timid child into a rebellious teenager. With no money to her name and low self-esteem, Christine sets out to start a new life. Unfortunately, she finds herself in another abusive relationship; this time the victim of her husband’s violent temper. At what point does a person say, ‘Enough is enough’ and take that first step towards freedom and control over their life?

Christine finally reaches that point. Determined not to be a victim of her past, and even more resolute on breaking the destructive cycle of revictimisation, Christine starts the slow journey to self-discovery. In doing this, she teaches the reader the power of goal-setting, seeking opportunities, identifying unmet needs and, most importantly, believing in yourself and your ability to achieve things. Christine demonstrates the value of these life lessons in both a personal and business sense, making this book a valuable tool for multiple users.

I can not find anything I dislike about this book, however, there are several aspects of this novel I really appreciate. The way the book is compiled is quite unique. Firstly, unlike many stories about surviving abuse, I feel this book covers the complete lifespan of the author. I have found many comparable stories tend to go into depth about the traumatic experience and the decision to take control of life, but then only dedicate one or two chapters to detailing how this was achieved. As a result, I often feel I have missed half the story. I am delighted that Christine dedicates as much of her book to her road to success as she does about her childhood. She shows the reader that things do not automatically fall into place the moment you decide to take that step towards freedom. Instead, she demonstrates that achieving your goals takes hard work and a lot of belief in yourself and your abilities. Christine openly shares the challenges she faces and how they are overcome.

The second aspect I truly enjoy is how Christine provides the reader with closure about many of the characters they meet throughout the story. This is achieved by writing a chapter summarising what her friends and family are currently doing. To me, this makes the book feel complete.

Finally, to conclude the book, Christine outlines twelve steps towards taking control of your destiny and achieving happiness. This was a great finish to the book and nicely sums up the valuable lessons she has imparted during her story. It also provides easy access for future reference.

Overall, this book is well written. The entire novel only contains a couple of errors, making it exceptional quality. The writing is descriptive and flows perfectly. Christine’s memories are presented in perfect chronological order, while intermittently returning to the present to keep the reader informed of what is occurring between her flashbacks. The movement between these different timeframes is fluid and the transitions are easy to identify. Christine also displays a wonderful talent for describing details in a unique way that stays with the reader.

This book would appeal to a variety of readers, particularly those who appreciate a story of resilience and strength in the face of adversity. This story also provides encouragement for people wanting to work towards happiness or achieving goals. People interested in starting out in business could also benefit greatly from the valuable business tips contained throughout the book. Finally, while I would recommend caution to those who are sensitive to the subject of abuse, people finding themselves in such a situation may find this book offers them the inspiration they need to take that first step.

Jwalker, Review on onlinebookclub