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

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

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, Beta Reader

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

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 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.”

Andy McNab, 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 Amazon.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

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

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

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

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

Recommended

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

Anna Roberts, 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

Christine’s childhood is a patchwork of control, abuse and neglect.

Mrs A, Review on mrsaverageevaluates.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, Review on 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, Review on Redheadedbookloverblog.com

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 Amazon.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, Review on 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

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

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

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 and Goodreads.com

What this painful story can teach you

My hobbies include reading books and novels. I’m a picky person and I take time to research before buying a book. I heard about this book from a group of online friends and I was curious to know what this book holds.

I truly loved the storyline, plus, the author made it more interesting by using her own writing style. It’s an inspirational story to pick you up. Even I was exposed to child abuse while I was young, but, I never had the courage to raise my voice.

No Fourth River was truly heart-breaking, yet, a truly inspiring story. I’d recommend you read it, it won’t disappoint your expectations.

Hanson Castro, Review on liveandefend.com

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

Touches souls and changes lives

No Fourth River touches souls and changes lives. I was very impressed with what I found in the book, and it really helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think this is a must on everybody’s shelf.

MorganMcGinnis, Review on Liveandefend.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, Amazon.co.uk and Goodreads.com

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 and Goodreads.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

Amazing!

If you ever feel like things are spiralling out of control and you need a bit of perspective then read this book. A compelling life story, Christine has written her book not as a victim but as a true survivor.

Kelly Marston, Review on Amazon.co.uk

Brutally honest and lathered with encouragement.

Reading this book was a shocking yet heart-warming experience. The first half focuses on the author’s traumatic upbringing and her, frankly terrifying, first marriage. The second charts her recovery and the construction of a succesful family life. I’ll be honest and say that when I reached the turning point around the middle of the book, it felt very much like an ending to me, yet the story kept going. Even after a couple more chapters I found myself thinking “Why are you telling us all this detail? Is it really relevant to the point you’re making?” However, by the end I was so glad that she had continued. The length and amount of detail was indeed necessary in order to make the fuller, grander points which she was aiming for.

The writing has an air of sincerity about it that I’ve seldom seen. In particular the more visceral scenes come across in a rough, almost unedited fashion that feels a bit like extracts from a private journal. This is one of the strengths of the book, whilst also being its greatest flaw. It regularly leads to moments of repetition, often within the same paragraph. It sometimes feels like the author just really wants to smash a particular idea into the mind of the reader, and went about it in a less-than-subtle fashion. Saying that, I would not choose to risk accidentally losing the vibrant truthfulness inherent here by trimming away too much of the text.

There’s a kind of “self help” vibe to the story that comes across so effectively when framed in this true story of someone overcoming realistic, identifiyable hardships. I felt especially engaged by the parts to do with her abusive husband as I’ve known many people who have been in similar situations. I’ll most likely be recommending this book to them as I think it does a great job of demonstrating that there is always hope, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, as long as you don’t give up trying. As a side note, I would genuinely like to meet the “character” of Richard as he sounds like really great guy.

Leigh Jackson, Review on Amazon.com

Five Stars

Highly recommended!

Jaylyn, Review on Amazon.co.uk

Highly Recommended

I found this to be an honest story without the author searching for sympathy. Some people have more to deal with in life than most others. Dealing with the events within the book could break most people. I came away from this read with a sense of respect for having indured such a life whilst retaining the ability to write about so elequently. I rarely read books twice. This may break that trend. Highly recommended

Mark Brown, Review on Amazon.co.uk

A Powerful, intense and compelling story of one woman’s triumph over a childhood and early life of crushing abuse.

No Fourth River, by Christine Clayfield, is a powerful, intense and compelling story of a woman’s life, from a childhood and until the recent present. Her early life was filled with crushing verbal and psychological abuse at the hands of her father, then the nuns and her classmates at school, leaving her with nothing upon which to build any self-esteem. It is a miracle that she didn’t end up as another teenage suicide. This is tough reading and not for the faint of heart. Of course, she then makes all the wrong choices young women make, which they only want attention, desperately wanting people to like her, for anyone to love her. Then she meets her first husband, who initially treats her well and who she believes will be her salvation. But, then the same abuse that she’d suffered at the hands of her father and classmates continues, with the addition of physical abuse that nearly kills her.

After a brutal beating at the hands of husband, she awakes from a coma with the determination to change her life, so that she will no longer accept suffering at the hands of others and shed no more tears from the pain they’ve caused. Thus, begins a miraculous, and ultimately triumphant, transformation. Like many of us who’ve suffered various forms of abuse during our youths with a determination to rise above them, she goes after her transformation with a ferocity fueled by that early pain, and her early suffering beyond nearly any I’ve heard before, hers becomes an obsession which yields accomplishment after accomplishment, allowing nothing to stand in her way.

I did struggle with the writing at times, mostly because I found it repetitive at times, but given what this woman went through and overcame, I can’t imagine not being a bit repetitive myself.

If you want to read a story about rising above adversity, I recommend that you read No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield.

LoveMyKindle, Review on Amazon.com

Inspiring memoir

This is a candid memoir in which Christine confronts all her demons and inspires readers to do the same. Her family life was an open secret in the small town where she lived, yet she received little to no help from the outside world. Her father’s extremely strict and abusive ways made the whole family, including Christine’s mother and brothers, live in fear. The punishments he invented for them ranged from beatings to being forced to kneel for hours on end.

The boarding school Christine attended was not much better. It was a system of endless humiliation and abuse.

Growing up with these burdens, Christine reached a turning point where she knew things needed to change, and she took control of her life. Readers will cheer her on as they discover how she overcame many years of feeling powerless and not good enough to become a successful businesswoman.

Dysfunctional families are a complex web that continues to affect people even into adulthood. It was really interesting to see Christine’s relationship with her father impact every part of her life, even though she left home intending to be free of his influence. Whether we like it or not, our parents make us who we are to a great extent. Ironically, Christine became driven and successful in business, just like her father.

Throughout the book, she describes some truly disturbing scenes, but what keeps you reading is knowing she survived in the end. This book is a real inspiration for anyone who has suffered from abuse, or anyone who simply wants to make a change in their life. It shows that once you resolve to change, things can only get better.

Carolee, Review on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com

An extremely powerful, wonderful and inspiring story

I very much enjoyed reading No Fourth River. Thought is was well written and very engaging from the beginning. I could hardly put it down. This is a heart-wrenching, moving and memorable story. The book remind us that no matter now bad your past was, you can build a better future. Read and enjoy, it’s worth your time.

Amazon Customer, Review on Amazon.co.uk

The book is a real revelation and inspiration to all – women or men.

I have been following Christine Clayfield’s progress for some time now. Little did I know how hard her road to success has been. To say that she has been through a lot is to say nothing. No child or even a living being should go through what she has been through. Many people get broken by such ordeals. Not only has Christine come out of it and built a happy, very comfortable life for herself and her family, she is a truly happy and rounded human being, always smiling and joking. I’ve met her once and could never have guessed she’d been through such hard times. The book is a real revelation and inspiration to all – women or men. Highly recommended!

Galina St. George, Review on Facebook

I’ve experienced a rollercoaster of feelings whilst reading.

This book made me think about life. I’ve experienced a rollercoaster of feelings whilst reading: fear, pain, anger, happiness, love and last but not least victory.

On many occasions when I was reading the book tears wear rolling down my face. Sometimes I couldn’t take it any more and stopped reading for a while. However, I couldn’t stop my curiosity and wanted to know how Christine managed to go on so I started reading again a few days later.

I admire Christine’s courage to go on and then finally her life makes a turn for the better.

Thanks Christine for sharing your life with us and I wish you all the luck in the future.

Linda Robben, Review on Amazon.com

Be prepared for a touchy book

A heartbreaking true story about how can an abusive childhood can change their lives forever, but at the same time their strength and power to say stop, now I live. This had not been an easy read, is never easy to read a story about how a men abuse his family again and again without anyone being able to stop it, and let me say it was so difficult that sometimes I had to just stop reading to get some fresh air, Christine’s words were so hurting and sad…. This book is the journey of Christine from her childhood abuse through the moment she gain the strength to say enough and grow as a different person, maybe searching happiness? I will not make any spoilers so you will have to read the book! 😉 Be prepared for a touchy book, full of sadness but energy, making us believe that happiness is there for everyone.

“In evening school, I had taken some psychology courses in an attempt to understand the relationship between my dad and me, and why he behaved as he did. I will never know his real motives and beliefs. It is easier for me to cope thinking there was a reason for his ways, rather than living with the idea that I was dumped and never wanted.”

Varietats, Review on varietats2010.blogspot.co.uk

A truly powerful book

This was definitely not an easy read.   And as it’s a novel based on a true story, that makes the horror of the abuse that the family suffered even more horrifying.

It follows the story of Christine as she is faced with seeing her mother very ill in hospital, and as she sits by her bedside it allows her mind to go back in time and see her childhood and the conditions the family were forced to live under due to a brute of a father.  he was a successful man away from the home, but once behind closed doors he was  a tyrant who wielded control power over his wife and children and often made them suffer sickening consequences for disobeying him.

Christine and her brothers were all treated appallingly over the years and the abuse didn’t stop even when they reached adulthood, even if they tried to get away.  Christine ended up leaving home at 18 to escape, but soon found herself under the control of another evil man and you begin to wonder what will be her breaking point.

When that breaking point is reached, it turns the whole story around as it gives her power to stop the things happening to her and get back to concentrating on herself and trying to restore that confidence that had been taken away from her for so many years.  And I think this is why this story needs to be shared and read.  It gives hope to those who may find themselves in similar circumstances.  Knowing that it isn’t their fault and that good can come out of bad.

The abuse suffered throughout the years is awful to read and just appalling that a human can treat others in such a way, more so when that is their own father.  You could sense the fear through those pages and you can understand why Christine rebelled in the way she did when she became a teenager.  She wanted to be liked and would do anything for that feeling of someone being interested in her.

A truly powerful book and one full of hope and inspiration from the author with a series of messages aimed at those who feel so powerless.

Karen, Review on www.booksandme.co.uk

A deeply shocking portrayal

I love to hear people’s’ stories. I like to know where they came from and who they are. These stories don’t necessarily have to be told face to face, hence I love a good non-fiction/biography/autobiography. Out of all the stories I am told, there are some which just blow me away. Like that of Christine Clayfield.

No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield is a deeply shocking portrayal of electroshock therapy, child abuse and modern-day slavery. From very early on in life, Christine is tortured by her father, a wealthy, tyrannical man renowned in the diamond business. This abuse continues with the awful nuns and classmates she endures when she is shipped off to boarding school aged 5. This horror culminates into a falling out between father and child that was never fully mended, a world of promiscuity and alcohol, and a violent marriage. Driven to the limits of despair and heartache, she creates a plan to escape her world of misery. Will her plan work?

This is an amazing story of courage and survival told in a brutally honest manner. The fact that Clayfield allows herself to be so honest makes this a truly powerful book, one that will provide escape for those who are feeling trapped. This book is more factual than emotional and I want to say two things about that here. One is that sometimes the information provided was unnecessary. For instance, there is a small part which gives a breakdown of how Belgium is in three parts. This is not something that happens throughout the entire book and I can see it is because Clayfield is a stickler for detail, or painting the entire picture of her life. The second thing is that this is a hard story to read. Absolutely nothing is sugar-coated and the level of abuse present is shocking. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to write this book and I applaud the author for being brave enough to put it all out there in the hope of helping others.

Clayfield’s story is spilt into the present (50s at the hospital with her ailing mother) and the past, all the way up from age 5. This format really shows the contrast between her life now and then. Also, the chapters each start with a little quote. I love quotes so this was a nice touch for me. There was just one part of No Fourth River that didn’t sit well with me. When Clayfield’s husband Richard comes on the scene, the book takes a leap upwards and the mood going from very dark to what felt overly cheery. I can’t decide if this is because everything else after the abuse must have felt like heaven or their was a conscious decision to make a strong contracts between the two periods in her life. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy that things completely turned around in the author’s life, it is just that things read to be too perfect and sometimes had an air of being false.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Clayfield showed that there is  light at the end of the tunnel and that dreams can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Thank you for baring your soul to help others!

Joy Corkery, Review on Amazon.co.uk and joyfulantidotes.com

This is a painfully honest and open account

YouTube review on Mrs A website, this is a painfully honest and open account of a childhood of emotional neglect – leading inevitably to an adulthood in desperate need of affection and poor choices. What is wonderful is that there is a happy ending, and a strong sense of control after such a poor start in life.

Claire Lyons, Review on Goodreads.com

A great recommendation

A book recommended by my dad, Phil Allen. We both agree that at times it was harrowing but overall an inspiring story of a young woman determined to overcome the difficulties put in her path. We would both highly recommend.

Stella Campbell, Review on Amazon.co.uk 

Five Stars

What an amazing book. Every inspirational. Looking forward to reading it again. I definitely recommend giving it a read.

Amazon customer, Review on Amazon.co.uk 

I found No Fourth River is an exceptionally gut-wrenchingly painful story to read

I found No Fourth River is an exceptionally gut-wrenchingly painful story to read, there is no denying it. Being that it was the life of Christine Clayfield herself is likely why this was so difficult to read. I love autobiographical/biographical books but autobiographies affect me in an exceptionally intimate way.

No Fourth River starts out with Christine receiving a call regarding her mum’s health and while travelling and sitting with her mum she is reliving the past. We see a young girl living in a harsh family environment that has led her to such a state that she wets the bed. Dad was an abusive alcoholic who had a highly successful business and always felt he should have the perfect family on the outside, even if things aren’t perfect at home. Mum was in a position where she was exceptionally degraded by her husband and feared for her children but couldn’t leave and unfortunately this is seen quite a lot in these situations. Christine and her brothers were sent to boarding school and while there Christine suffered a lot of abuse from the students but worse than that she suffered it from the nuns. Our children should feel safe at school and if the children are being abusive then the teachers should be there to listen and protect them but this was not the case for Christine and it broke my heart. I went to a boarding school and I have to say that even when the kids were hard to deal with there was always someone to turn to. I remember there being a horrific situation with one teacher and I wasn’t afraid to go and tell another teacher but this was not the case in No Fourth River and that was awful to read about, I felt like I was there experiencing what was going on in the school and it broke my heart that I couldn’t just pick Christine up in my arms and tell her that it would be ok and they couldn’t hurt her anymore. This was a feeling that I had quite a bit while reading and I don’t know if it was the mother in me or the fact that our lives have been exceptionally similar, with the exception of the school experience and a few other things, but I just wanted to protect her and have her know that regardless of what happens we can shape our own future rather than letting our situation dictate what the future holds.

The book is perfectly written and I found it eerily relatable. The writing style is fabulous, reminds me of sitting having a chat with someone about their life. Even if you aren’t someone who likes autobiographical books you will enjoy reading this. It is completely possible to read this as if it were a novel written in the first person. This is modern day Cinderella story that can be appreciated by all.

I received this book to for review purposes. My review is completely unbiased.

Lisa, Review on Amazon.co.uk, ramblinglisasbookreviews.com and Goodreads.com

No Forth River

A great read, this lady has had a real tough time but despite all the pain and hardship, she suffers,though out the early part of her life she manages to turn everything around and triumph in the end. Through sheer hard work and determination. An inspiration. I couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait for this authors next book.

Julie Thomas, Review on Amazon.co.uk

Inspiring book!

What I learned from this book: You can do anything you wish in the world when you work hard for it. I believe that the messages this book portray should be shared widely,

How this book made me feel: Wow, this read was an absolute emotional rollercoaster, sometimes shattering my heart into million pieces and making me angry for all the injustice author had to suffer, and sometimes making me feel so proud for all the achievements Christine was able to conquer.

This book is a memoir of Christine Clayfield, where she is sharing her life story. The story begins when she was five years old, and it continues throughout her life, including rebellious teenage years, until the present, when she is 58 years old. All the past memories were triggered when suddenly she gets a call, that her mother is very ill and she has to return to Belgium, where she faces the ghosts from her past. Her youth years are very brutal and the amount of violence and abuse she had to face from her father is absolutely unbelievable. To top her already sad life, she married a violent man, who made her life even more miserable. I tend to question people’s choices in these type of books. Why they didn’t look for help? Why they didn’t complain to other family members? Why they stayed silent? And in many books I do find the answers which sound illogical, but not in this book. Christine explains everything very clearly, and for me, her thoughts and feelings fully explain every choice she had to make. I’m absolutely touched by how honest this book is. Christine poured her heart out and is sharing the deepest and darkest events with the readers, and I applaud her bravery because, I believe, it should have been a really difficult book to write.

The events in this book were jumping between present and past, giving a little insight of what will come. The author shared a beautiful story of how she met her present husband and the letters they shared while apart. They were absolutely adorable. The amount of topics discussed in this book is huge, such as child abuse, bullying, mentally caused illnesses, family problems, relationships with friends, alcoholism, loose sexual behaviour, domestic violence, business ideas, distance relationship, effects of divorce, and many many more. The author is openly speaking about nuns and their cruelty, and I thought nuns supposed to be kind and helpful, but they looked like tyrants rather than saints. (I kind of knew it, but still, was stupidly surprised about this fact  )

The writing style is very pleasant and the language is easy and understandable. The chapters are a decent length and it doesn’t leave you bored. I would like to throw in a disclaimer, this book is not very easy mentally, there is a lot of cruelty and violence and does have a lot of heartbreaking moments, so tissues and strong nerves are recommended. 🙂 I loved the way Christine rounded up her novel, it left me really satisfied. So, to conclude, this work is incredibly inspiring and I do believe it should be widely spread to share the awareness of how you can do anything you put your mind to. That “can do” attitude, clear goals and a lot of hard work will make you successful, no matter what you endured in life. It is all in you, you just need to find it. Please do support this book, there is a lot of things to learn from Christine because she is freaking amazing and her story is absolutely inspiring. Enjoy 🙂

The Book Inspector, review on Amazon.co.uk and bookinspector.wordpress.com

A book of strength

No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield is a deeply shocking portrayal of electroshock therapy, child abuse and modern-day slavery. From very early on in life, Christine is tortured by her father, a wealthy, tyrannical man renowned in the diamond business. This abuse continues with the awful nuns and classmates she endures when she is shipped off to boarding school aged 5. This horror culminates into a falling out between father and child that was never fully mended, a world of promiscuity and alcohol, and a violent marriage. Driven to the limits of despair and heartache, she creates a plan to escape her world of misery. Will her plan work?

This is an amazing story of courage and survival told in a brutally honest manner. The fact that Clayfield allows herself to be so honest makes this a truly powerful book, one that will provide escape for those who are feeling trapped. This book is more factual than emotional and I want to say two things about that here. One is that sometimes the information provided was unnecessary. For instance, there is a small part which gives a breakdown of how Belgium is in three parts. This is not something that happens throughout the entire book and I can see it is because Clayfield is a stickler for detail, or painting the entire picture of her life. The second thing is that this is a hard story to read. Absolutely nothing is sugar-coated and the level of abuse present is shocking. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to write this book and I applaud the author for being brave enough to put it all out there in the hope of helping others.

Clayfield’s story is spilt into the present (50s at the hospital with her ailing mother) and the past, all the way up from age 5. This format really shows the contrast between her life now and then. Also, the chapters each start with a little quote. I love quotes so this was a nice touch for me. There was just one part of No Fourth River that didn’t sit well with me. When Clayfield’s husband Richard comes on the scene, the book takes a leap upwards and the mood going from very dark to what felt overly cheery. I can’t decide if this is because everything else after the abuse must have felt like heaven or their was a conscious decision to make a strong contracts between the two periods in her life. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy that things completely turned around in the author’s life, it is just that things read to be too perfect and sometimes had an air of being false.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Clayfield showed that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that dreams can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Thank you for baring your soul to help others!

Joy Corkery on Amazon.co.uk

From barely surviving to success and happiness

Someone might read the summary and think “that can’t all be true”. Yes. It can. More children live in abuse than we will let ourselves admit. Many people try to survive domestic violence in silence. But the good news is, there are ways out. Christine writes about her experience of abuse and does so without coming across as a victim. She describes the thoughts and behaviors I’ve heard from other survivors. This is a gritty, real look into the world of violence in the home (and in schools) and the physical and emotional results of that abuse. It is also a realistic look at our choices. It is not a pleasant read in the beginning, and yet it is uplifting and motivational. Christine explains how she got out. I highly recommend this book to service providers who work with domestic trauma survivors, people who work in the field of trauma informed care, people who want to shake off the negative messages others told them, those who want to control their own lives, and anyone who likes a gripping, terrifying story that turns happy ending.

DawnRae on Amaon.com

Powerful true story!

I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Great read that gets you drawn into Christine’s life and her struggles. I felt her pain and heartache. I couldn’t put it down as I wanted to find out how Christine got the strength to build a better life. Loved it.

D. Cowan on Amazon.co.uk

This is the most important story I’ve read in quite some time.

I just finished reading No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield. As soon as I read the final word, I turned to my laptop to begin writing this review. Christine has shared her life with us – from her very painful beginnings to the moment she took control of her own life and beyond. She shows us how she created safety, happiness, love, and success and assures us that we can do the same.

Christine was born into a family in which her father’s parenting style was over-the-top abusive. At the tender age of 5 (just old enough for kindergarten in the US), she was sent to a boarding school with nuns who not only shamed and tormented Christine but encouraged the other students to do the same. So it is no surprise that Christine turned to sex and alcohol as a teen. Then things turned really bad.  Set in Belgium and the UK, Christine describes her life from age 5 to 58. She describes how the actions and inaction of others leave scars – physical and emotional.
No Fourth River’s Cast of Characters

Christine’s Father – Christine’s father is a wealthy businessman and well-known in their village. We are given the impression that he’s ruthless in business and clearly he’s ruthless in his expectations for his wife and children.

Christine’s Mother – Christine’s mother conspires with the children to have happier times, to hide some things from their father, and provide for their material needs. And yet she is unable or unwilling to stop the abuse.
“Mum regularly got the worst of my father, and she never seemed to be able to please him for long, although she never gave up trying”

“I remember my mother telling me once, in later life, that she stayed in the relationship because of my father’s money.”

Christine’s Brothers – Of the 5 children in the family, all are boys except Christine. The children take their roles in the family. Kane takes the role of being most able to meet dad’s expectations and avoids some of the physical punishments. However, it is clear that even he has not escaped unscathed.

Christine’s Husband – After Christine leaves home and is living independently, yet constantly in the realm of poor choices, she marries her 1st husband.  During that marriage she is nearly murdered. She decides “enough is enough”. Christine finds her voice, and the trajectory of her life changes.

Shame & Doubt – Shame and Doubt are so tangible in this story that it as though they become part of the list of main characters. Humans make decisions, usually horrible decisions, based on Shame and Doubt. Christine was not immune to this. Through the story she describes how shame and self-doubt initially controlled her but then how she learned to take control of herself and her life – relegating shame and doubt to the shadows.

Well-meaning friends and miscellaneous onlookers – I have learned in my experiences at work and in life that it often seems easier to take the physical abuse from the abuser than the hurtful things they say. And sometimes, even more hurtful, are the reactions (real or imagined) of friends or onlookers.
“I felt their eyes on me and their pity and anger. It felt terrible to be so exposed like this, for people to see how my husband treated me.”

There are many other very important characters in this story, but I don’t want to risk any spoilers. I want you to discover these important people naturally as the story unfolds. To learn how Christine finds her true self and not only survives but launches into a life of her creation.

This book begins with the harsh realities of child abuse, teen rebellion, and domestic violence. The subject matter is TOUGH. There are no gratuitously violent scenes in the book. However, there are many violent scenes described. I felt nothing was told in a shocking manner just for the shock value and to sell the story. But the truth of this subject matter cannot be told without exposing the cruelty that occurs when people choose to abuse. The lessons can’t be learned without honesty – even if that honesty is what nightmares are sometimes made of.

Christine Clayton describes the transition from the abuse and turmoil to her life as a happily married wife, successful business woman, public speaker and advocate. She ends the book with an afterword that includes some of her philosophy, why she doesn’t blame her abusers, the reality of some of her health issues as a result of the abuse, and 12 valuable messages meant to help others. Christine writes:
“If I can change one person’s life who will read this book, I will have achieved my goal. I have shared my life experiences and hope to make a difference in someone else’s life”

Having worked in the field of social work for over 20 years, I am quite sure that her story, her style of telling it, and her sharing of the lessons learned will help many people in a variety of ways. I highly recommend No Fourth River. This is the most important story I’ve read in quite some time.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the author for review. However, all comments are mine and based on my honest reaction to the book.

 https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/03/no-fourth-river-book-review.html