Book review: Five Rivers Met On A Wooded Plain

HAVING already made quite a name for himself in the theatre world, playwright Barney Norris is adding another string to his bow with his debut novel Five Rivers Met On A Wooded Plain.

Barney Norris

Doubleday, €16.40;

ebook, €12.00

Although on paper the premise doesn’t seem particularly special — five strangers united by one accident — in all other respects, it’s a brilliant, story.

Each chapter is devoted to one of the five individuals and part of the enjoyment of the book is discovering the myriad ways they are all connected to each other.

The author has an uncanny ability to capture even the tiniest nuances of each character, whether it’s an army wife in the midst of a breakdown, a recently widowed elderly man or a teen with a crush.

It’s impossible not to become swept up by the author’s beautifully poetic language. 

Exploring big ideas about love, loss, faith and purpose, Five Rivers Met On A Wooded Plain is a startlingly good debut and hopefully a sign of great things to come from Norris.


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