Alun Williams's Reviews > The River

The River by Rumer Godden
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Aug 02, 2011

it was amazing

Rumer Godden had a long and prolific writing career, but her centenary in 2007 seemed to pass unmarked. If you are not familiar with her then you have missed one of the few truly great British novelists of the twentieth century.

The River, which was later filmed by Jean Renoir, is a very short and, in parts, sad book, but in many ways typical of Rumer Godden's work: set in India, the main characters children, the theme growing up, and how to be perceived by adults as a person rather than a child. It is hard to think of another writer who can so well convey what it is like to be one of her characters, and who describe scenes and events so vividly. One modern writer she can possibly be compared with is Alexendar McCall Smith - like him she is a writer who always wants to understand why people are the way they are, and who never condemns others. Her writing has a delicacy and subtlety sadly lacking in most modern authors.


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