Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

No Fourth River. A Novel Based on a True Story. A profoundly moving read about a woman's fight for survival.

Rate this book
Novel based on a true story. Electroshock therapy, child abuse and modern-day slavery… just another day in Christine’s life.

Take a heart-wrenching yet inspiring ride through one woman’s incredible journey that is so compelling that you are simultaneously trying to look away and unable to stop yourself from reading on.

Christine’s father is a wealthy, tyrannical man renowned in the diamond business. At the age of just five, little Christine is cast aside into a boarding school where she is ridiculed for two embarrassing problems. She grows up in a never-ending circle of traumatic experiences both in her boarding school and at home. It culminates into a falling out between father and child that was never fully mended, leading her into a world of promiscuity and alcohol, eventually landing her in a violent marriage.

Driven to the limits of despair and heartache, she creates a plan to escape her world of misery.

A story that asks: How do you find the strength, when you suffer almost unbearable abuse and are broken beyond repair, to pick up the pieces of a shattered life?

No Fourth River is gripping, harrowing, uplifting and inspiring. A true story of survival, courage and triumph.

245 pages, Kindle Edition

Published November 22, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Christine Clayfield

12 books20 followers
Christine Clayfield is a best-selling author, Internet marketer, Entrepreneur, Infopreneur, Public Speaker and Book Publisher.

After many years of being a successful business woman and mentor she took one step further to empower and inspire the world, with the release of ‘No Fourth River’ a novel based on her life.

Christine’s past holds much pain and abuse, but it did not stop her from being the woman she is today by changing her life and building the future she wanted.

‘No Fourth River’, is Christine’s way to let the world know that despite the pain of your past, YOU have the ability to change your future. YOU can make it happen if you just believe. It all starts with YOU.

Get your copy of ‘No Fourth River’: http://nofourthriver.com/buy-the-book
Download an extract from ‘No Fourth River’: http://nofourthriver.com/optinextract...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
240 (43%)
4 stars
157 (28%)
3 stars
101 (18%)
2 stars
34 (6%)
1 star
21 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews
Profile Image for Ivana - Diary of Difference.
559 reviews709 followers
April 3, 2022
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

No Fourth River is a very powerful story about swimming up to surface, when the world is against you. A story about child abuse unlike anything else, and one very determined woman.
This is the second Audiobook I have listened to, with the first being Ready Player One. Two completely different experiences. It was disturbing listening to such a painful story for a while, and it took me a long time to finish it.

The story of Christine is so sad and so unique. She is being molested by her father in ways you could never imagine. She goes to boarding school and she is being bullied even by the nurses. She wets her bed every single day. And bad things keep happening, one after another, after another, until she is in her thirties and almost dies being beaten to almost-death by her husband.

And then she decides to change her life and to be the most successful woman.

At first, when I read the synopsis, the thing that thrilled me was the ill mother that suffered from dementia. I thought this book will revolve and focus on this point, but it didn’t. And I was very disappointed.

Then I manned up, and decided to continue listening, despite my unhappiness. It was a decent story, a powerful, motivational one, but not realistic. And it hurts me saying this, because this book is autobiography. Of course these terrible things happened. But I didn’t felt for the woman. Not in a way I usually would.

The writing was just about average, or maybe the woman reading in the audiobook was to blame. I will leave that up to you, who have listened to the audiobook, or choose to do so.

The character of this woman was honest, but I still can’t imagine how and why a person would stick to people that keep hurting her, despite everything. Even if love, even if forever after, I would not stay one more day with a person if he, for one moment, loses control and raises a hand over me. I would be out of the house in a minute, never returning back. A man would never hurt a woman. No matter what she could do, or couldn’t do. I can argue for hours, and I can admit being wrong, and I can cope with being yelled at, because I have done something stupid. But the moment the line is crosses, I would be out – FOREVER.

If you guys are looking for a story that will keep you thinking about whether you’ve made right decisions, this is a great book for you. A powerful success story of a woman that was brave enough to say NO (after a few years, that is) and brave enough to start building a new life. I recommend it, even though I personally did not really enjoy it a lot.

I have won this Audiobook as a giveaway from LibraryThing, and all my opinions are honest and completely unbiased.
Profile Image for Evelina | AvalinahsBooks.
859 reviews440 followers
June 2, 2018
When I was asked to review this title, I was both captivated, and also a little apprehensive – captivated, because all the reviews seem to be SO GOOD! If you look at the Goodreads or Amazon pages for No Fourth River? It all seems to be 4-5 stars. Why apprehensive then? Because this book talks about a very sensitive topic – domestic abuse. And I come from a family with some of that history – and I myself have a history of being quite badly bullied. So reading a book that talks in detail about real, actual experiences of heavy domestic abuse? Seems strong. Maybe even too much for me. But as usual, curiosity won out, and I agreed to take part in the book tour. And you know what? I do not regret it.

So visit my blog post if you want to read more about why I definitely recommend this book, and for possible triggers. If you’re not going to click through, just keep in mind that this is a very strong, and inspiring (although, triggering) account of domestic abuse and rising up from it. Again, you can read the full review here.

I thank Christine Clayfield, RASC Publishing and Bookollective for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. Receiving the book for free does not affect my opinion.

Read Post On My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books353 followers
July 22, 2019
Wow. Sometimes you are fortunate enough to find a treasure of a story where the writing is so vivid and clear that you can see yourself in every scene, picture the imagery in the small details, and image the world coming to live. This memoir totally did that for me. This isn’t an easy read by any account. Told in dual timelines as a family gathers in present-day Belgium to stand vigil by the beside of an elderly mother, and in the past where years of horrific abuse are recounted.

The past is where this novel really gripped me. The beauty of the work is in the way small scenes convey the horror of everyday life. A child locked in a basement. An imaginary friend you’re not allowed to talk to. Forced feeding of dozens of crackers. Electroshock therapy. A father who worked for the diamond industry in Belgium who presented the outside world with a perfect family, when inside their castle of a house, everyone lived in terror of him coming home and discovering they’d had the TV set on. This is a story of rising out of domestic abuse (and the author doesn’t shy away from the true psychological and physical impacts) and rebuilding the life you want. You cheer for Christine at every step as she sets up her business and begins getting clients. You weep for her at her setbacks. And you rejoice as the book shifts in the second half and she finally begins to get the life she deserves. Powerfully written.

Trigger Warnings:

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
March 19, 2018
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.
Review first published on Rambling Lisa's Book Reviews.
Profile Image for The Geeky Bibliophile.
468 reviews89 followers
March 24, 2019
It takes a great deal of courage to write about the abuse you’ve suffered through during your childhood and (first) marriage, but Clayfield rose to the challenge in No Fourth River. In it, she writes about her abusive father, her miserable years at a boarding school, and her disastrous first marriage to a brutal man who married her hoping to get his hands on some of her father’s riches. After nearly being beaten to death by her violent husband, Christine was determined to turn her life around and find the elusive happiness she longed for in her life.

What I Liked

Clayfield didn’t shy away from telling her story like it is—whether it was discussing the abuse suffered at home, the daily public shamings at boarding school. or the electroshock therapy she was forced to endure as treatment for her nocturnal enuresis. The isolation and despair she felt during her childhood is heartbreaking to read about, and it’s equally difficult to discover the cruelty of her first marriage.

Far from being melodramatic, she states the events of her life as they were, without embellishment, and with the willingness to forgive that is inspirational.

What I Didn’t Like

The second half of Clayfield’s life—free from the abuse of the past—at times feels a bit too pat for comfort. For example, she meets and marries the perfect man, has the identical twin daughters she always dreamed of having, and starts not just one, but several successful businesses over time. It’s not that these things are impossible… it all just felt a little too good to be true, and often threw me out of the story as I marveled at yet another stroke of good fortune.

There are times when the writing feels a bit awkward and unpolished, as well. Overall, it was pretty good, so I’m putting it down to the fact that English isn’t Clayfield’s first language—that would certainly account for that.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think this is a good book with an important message about abusive relationships—parental, spousal, etc.—that encourages people not to stay in the role of a victim. Despite the odds, Clayfield survived everything that life threw at her with grace, dignity, and a heart that wasn’t afraid to forgive. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of RASC Publishing via Bookollective.
Profile Image for K.T. Munson.
Author 20 books164 followers
February 3, 2018

Since this is based on a true story it is a little difficult to cover "characters" and "plot." Instead I'll speak to the book a whole. It was touching and inspirational. There were parts that were difficult to read because of their content. I could tell the author was pouring directly from her soul as she recalled her childhood trauma. Her family was vividly detailed. When I read the part about why she named the book "The Fourth River" I was totally sucked in. 

Following Christine on her turbulent journey at its heart about making choices and the power to control your destiny. It was about a terrible childhood, yes, but more than that it was about her journey to find herself and grow into the person she was always capable of being. The love story in the second half of the book was amazingly touching. The only downside to this book was there was an excess of content and repetition, both likely due to the fact that it was the author telling her story. 


4 Stars

This was a powerful book. For those who ever feel like they are trapped by their circumstances will hear this author's battle cry. 
Profile Image for Meggy Chocolate'n'Waffles.
517 reviews97 followers
July 9, 2018
Faint-hearted darlings, pass your way.

No Fourth River is a raw testimony of a life of abuse. But this is putting it in a nutshell. The author makes sure you can feel every inch of pain, every sting of humiliation, every scar of psychological abuse. Through a split storyline, we follow Christine growing up, enduring an endless string of events which will shape her future, her vision of herself and of the world.

I will admit I had to take breaks reading this story. There is so much you can take before your eyes start avoiding the words. It was painful to read. It was painful to imagine. Although I found the narrative going back and forth from the past to the future very interesting, I couldn’t help thinking there was a bit of repetition to the story. But I guess it only reflects a daily life of suffering. It doesn’t happen once. You are forced into this way of life over and over and over.

Christine explains with a lot of care but without holding anything back. My heart broke many times during my reading, and I wish I could jump into the pages and prevent some things from happening. It is one of those true stories which pulls at your heartstrings and make you go “This can’t happen.”

But it does.

No Fourth River, with its brilliant name and all the strength from the author, tells the story of survival, mistakes, and how to grow up with such a heavy past.

I was surprised at the second half of the book, when an adult Christine tells of her better years. I won’t spoil anything and I am sure it will help other picture how life can be better, treat you with more kindness, and give you a life after the nightmare, but the contrast between Christine’s two different eras struck me as “almost too good to be true”. I am delighted Christine found a way to escape, but the difference between the violence of the first part and the blue sky after the storm somehow had me going skeptical. I do know Christine explains her life ‘after’ the awful things she went through weren’t all flowers and happiness, but she focused on those good things, which is a very powerful message of hope. Maybe some transition would have helped me get a better understanding.

No Fourth River is a heart-breaking book which goes over an entire life, going from the deepest dark to the brightest colours, taking the reader through pain and joy. You are bound to feel. We need more of this kind of stories to open minds and hearts. To mend. A true inspirational story.

Profile Image for Karen Mace.
1,835 reviews67 followers
March 2, 2018
As a novel based on a true story, this often made for harrowing reading with shocking levels of abuse within a family, but the determination and spirit of Christine as she tries to overcome her past and find her own strength was truly inspiring and one that many of us can learn from in our own battles, no matter what they are.

The story begins with Christine at the bedside of her mother who is very poorly, and as she sits there watching over she begins to look back at her childhood and how she has grown. Her childhood was extremely distressing as her and her brothers, were routinely abused and suffered some sickening treatement by their father. And that is what made it even more appalling for me to read - how could a human treat anyone like that, especially their own flesh and blood. Their father was a successful businessman and his main drive was money, but once he was at home with his family he was a controlling brute and would dish out the most awful punishments if any of them dared disobey him so their lives were lived in fear.

As the children grew older, the punishments continued so their only focus was on getting out. The trauma never really left them though even when they managed to leave home, and Christine then found herself in another toxic, abusive relationship. After yet another beating, something finally clicked with Christine though to not take this anymore and that is when you see her blossom as a person and it was wonderful to see her taking control of her life and find some happiness.

This is a really important story to share and I'm glad to have read it as it gave me a great insight into the human spirit and overcoming such horrors.
Profile Image for Wyborn Senna.
Author 6 books15 followers
February 5, 2018
An Insightful Look At Being Raised By A Narcissist

Written from the heart, “No 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.
Profile Image for Michelle Ryles.
1,133 reviews80 followers
March 17, 2018
No Fourth River is an exceptional true story that manages to be both devastatingly heartbreaking and powerfully inspirational. I loved the way that it was written with Christine reflecting on her life after returning to Belgium in 2016 to be at her mother's hospital bedside.

As Christine talks through her life, my heart went out to her. She has been brought up in a house with four brothers and I felt like her family didn't know how to cope with a girl. Perhaps her mother was exhausted after having five children and trying to cope with such a strict and violent husband. Christine's father was a successful businessman but a very unsuccessful family man. I think Christine described her father perfectly when she said that 'he detonated' on one occasion when her brother wouldn't turn his music down. I don't think anybody could have described someone's anger any better.

Christine as a child and teenager, although suffering more than her fair share of trauma, had a lot of love to give and nobody to give it to. It didn't surprise me that she flirted with boys and turned to alcohol, calling it a 'magic potion' to numb her pain. 'Magic potion' made me laugh at first when you think of the crazy things some people (me) get up to when they are drunk, but then I had a sobering thought (no pun intended) as I remembered the magic wearing off. As Rumpelstiltskin said: all magic comes with a price, dearie. A price that Christine almost paid with her life.

In all darkness there is light, and once Christine said enough was enough it was like seeing a beautiful butterfly emerge from a chrysalis. She followed her dreams, visualised her future and didn't stop until her dreams were realised. Although I would take my term 'stop' with a pinch of salt as I don't think for a moment that Christine will ever stop. Christine's sky is not even her limit, her story isn't even close to ending yet.

Along with Christine's story, each chapter has inspirational quotations at the start and I plan to go back through the book and write them all down. One that particularly sticks in my mind is from self-help advocate, Wayne Dyer:

"Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world." - Wayne Dyer

I've been on a few management courses and often get asked to name an inspirational person. We've all been there...sitting round a table, not hearing anybody's answer as you're desperately trying to think of someone unique and awesome. Well, I'm all sorted as next time I get asked to name an inspirational person, I won't have to think twice before naming Christine Clayfield. Christine is such a brave lady, sharing her story and bearing her soul in the hope that her story helps or inspires even just one person. Well, consider your book a success, Christine. I have found my awesome inspirational person and I urge you to pick up a copy of No Fourth River and be inspired by Christine's story too.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Fanna.
992 reviews502 followers
June 6, 2018
No Fourth River is a novel based on a true story that would not just tug at your heart but yank it off and twist it to the last force.

I love reading autobiographies or memoirs, though you won’t find many if you sift through my ‘read’ titles, so I was instantly interested in grasping an opportunity to take part in a blog tour for this real story.

This is an honest recounting which is why it can resonate with people who have gone through the same, but this review is from the viewpoint of someone who has not found herself in most of the situations mentioned in this book. NO, I don’t mean to say I’m the luckiest person alive to be brought up in a safe household or that I have never been accustomed to things that I strongly disagree with and want to change for good-- all I mean is, I could feel the importance of this story even when I didn’t find myself in the shoes of Christine. So whether you can or cannot relate to this story, your soul would certainly reverberate with the raw narration.

This book is perfect for being so well constructed that you genuinely take something away after turning the past page. While the first half of the story is a bundle of traumatic experiences--some of them more shocking than I could’ve ever imagined--the second half is a transformation and not the ‘quick’ ones, but the established one, one that takes efforts and a whole lot of self-esteem. In all, it’s a collection of events that peak and low to show how human the story and author is.

No Fourth River revolves around sensitive, hard, serious issues like dysfunctional families, violence, alcoholism, domestic abuse, and self-hate among others. It’s days of such issues turning into weeks and finally into years, until one day the author realizes how deep down the aftereffects of these problems are rooted. So she decides to end it all, but not just by forgetting her times of despair--or worse, enduring--but by surviving and breaking through it as a strong female that she is.

The writing is always a make or break for me when it comes to memoirs. I feel like some sound too robotic for me to actually feel the story while some sound too vague for me to actually remember them. Not this; this one aced this area. The writing is pure, informative, and it reads like a story itself. A perfect combination for a “profoundly moving read about a woman's fight for survival.” Christine’s words come alive and you live through her life--both the bad and good times.

It isn’t easy to read this, though. As a reviewer, I feel necessary to mention how deeply affecting this book can become and how important it might be to take some much-needed breaks while living through it. You wouldn’t regret this experience, though.

My one star deduction is simply for me, as a reader. I couldn’t agree to a few bits here and there, which I guess is inevitable with personal life narratives, I can’t live someone else’s life completely which is why I can’t agree on actions or thoughts completely. This shouldn’t, however, stop you from considering this book. [Except, of course, you find you could be triggered by anything in this book]

Trigger Warnings: domestic abuse, abusive relationship, alcoholism, body horror, bullying, name-calling, child abuse, classism, coma, mental abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sex mention, vaginal insertion, hospitalisation, medical procedure, electro-shock therapy, attempted rape, smoking, and violence.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, influences my rating and/or opinions about it. Thank you Christine Clayfield and RASC Publishing!

Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram
Profile Image for Angela Panayotopulos.
Author 6 books64 followers
January 10, 2019
*Contains Spoilers* :)

This book is haunting, gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, and it brought me to tears more than once. It is elegantly written and well-paced, with a cadence that makes for easy reading and a rawness that doesn’t let me question the writer’s emotions or memories. I had to walk away from the computer several times because I couldn’t bear to read the rest of the chapter. It was that painful. But I always, always quickly came back because I had to know what happened—I had to know that Christine would be okay, I had to know the truth because she’d lived through it and the least I could do was read through it. If it wasn’t for the foreshadowing of a happier future from chapter one, I think I would have been much sadder while reading it, so I’m grateful for that—and very, very happy for Christine. I cried tears of joy at the end.

I found myself cheering for Christine’s triumphs, cringing and crying at her pain (and that of her brothers), and praying fervently for her realization of that true love and those identical twin girls. Just as fear begets fear, love begets love. I can absolutely see why she wrote this book. As difficult as the content is, the process sometimes may have been more painful than cathartic for her, but the underlying message of hope and the triumph of the underdog truly left me in awe of her. It’s also reinforced in me a great appreciation for my own life and all the love and lessons I’ve experienced within it. I feel honored to have read this story, to have received the book from Christine for an honest review, and to have had our paths cross in this life albeit just by having this “conversation of the minds” with her through the pages of her memoir.

And perhaps my favorite nugget of wisdom, among many, within the book is this: “When one door closes, a window opens. Don’t waste time staring at the closed door and risk losing the life-changing miracle that is watching you through the window. The latch is always on the inside.”
If you’re wondering what to read next these days, you needn’t wonder any more. Read this book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jennifer Gilmour.
Author 8 books77 followers
July 18, 2018
When I started this book I had the view that I couldn’t be shocked by abuse anymore, especially as I read and talk about it every day. BUT this book stirred up shock, upset, anger and toward the end I was excited, amazed and motivated.

No Fourth River takes you through Christine’s life, right up to last year- 2017. Discovering the abuse she suffered with as a child within her family into her teens and adulthood with relationships.

I found No Fourth River difficult to read in the beginning, in fact it took me a lot longer to read then origionally planned. What Christine went through was unacceptable and as I read the pages I had goosebumps. Christine made me feel like I was a fly on the wall, the way she describes what happened to her made me feel a part of the moment. I was mindful of my own triggers and mindset to read this when I was able to. This isn’t a negative though, this is a positive attribute of the Author; to be able to have the ability to take the reader on a personal journey and feel the emotions they went through is a huge achievement.

I got to the turning points and the beginning of Christine’s success streak and don’t want to spoil it for others but this women has made me believe in my abilities once again. The achievements she made after leaving the abusive relationship right up until present day is phenomenal, her drive behind becoming a top achiever in her industry is inspirational.

I highly recommend No Fourth River to anyone looking to read something that stop you from giving up, for those looking for an inspirational story or perhaps realise that it doesn’t matter where you have come from and what you have been through. I have given this a 5 star review and it will be a book I will not forget, I feel ready to take on anything now, thank you Christine.
Profile Image for Robin Austin.
Author 19 books25 followers
June 3, 2018
By all accounts the author should be a drug addict, sitting in a prison cell, or both and more. Of all things, she should not be a successful business woman, beloved wife, and doting mother.
Yes, this is a story of bitter cruelty by a power-crazed father and others. It's also about repeating patterns of abuse to self and seeking out users and abusers. Far too many grow up to repeat that story over and over. They make the headlines every day.

The author did not wallow in her wounds but crafted her own life story filled with accomplishments and love. Somehow her soul remained untarnished when it should have corroded.
While she shared several personal motivational quotes, the best for me was, "The latch is always on the inside."

This is a well-written story with bouts of purging and outbursts of inspiration.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I recommend it to anyone who is struggling to create a life of their “own perfect design.”
Profile Image for C.F. Rabbiosi.
Author 28 books207 followers
April 26, 2018
Beautiful novel

I enjoyed this book very much. The first half of this story details the cold and abusive childhood she faced growing up at the hands of her father, the nuns at her boarding school, and even her first husband. It's a page turner, being very unique and interesting, and it's definitely stuff that nightmares are made of.

The second half is uplifting as the author speaks of how she has cried a river for three different injustices but there will not be a fourth. I enjoyed reading about her triumphs and the happiness she finally found.

Five stars for excellent writing but also because she made me think about my own life. It related to me on many areas- like fearing failure, never feeling quite good enough and I think most of us suffer some amount of abuse in our lives, so I liked her encouraging words.
Profile Image for Robin Morgan.
Author 5 books281 followers
February 2, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Connie Lafortune.
Author 10 books508 followers
July 10, 2019
"The memories of my life glistened like droplets on a winter leaf, collecting their weight and spilling into my mind and I was powerless to prevent it."

No Fourth River is an emotional, gut-wrenching retelling of Christine Clayfield's abusive childhood, which unfortunately bled into her adult life as well. In fact, at times, it was too difficult to read. I found that I had to walk away and let the story rest for a bit. There was so much heartache and pain embedded in each and every page that it sliced my heart wide open...

"I believed Harry would change--his apologies filled me with hope and comfort, I saw flickers of love and kindness in him but eventually they became like rare butterflies drifting off with the morning wind."

I highly recommend No Fourth River to anyone who loves an inspirational read about a woman who beat the odds. Turned her negatives into positives and built the kind of life that she always dreamed of living...
Profile Image for Joann.
74 reviews
January 12, 2019
I don't even know where to begin. First of all it was the most inspiring book I have ever read and helped me tremendously in overcoming a lot of my fears and anxieties. For that alone I must thank Christine Clayfield. It was a very well written book, held my interest well into the night and finished It in 2 days. I cried a lot but knew that it turned out well so I kept reading. If anyone gives this less then 5 stars I would be very shocked. Bravo!,
Profile Image for Book Inspector.
274 reviews6 followers
March 20, 2018
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 🙂
2 reviews
January 22, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Joy Corkery.
362 reviews10 followers
March 21, 2018
Review originally published here: https://joyfulantidotes.com/2018/03/1...

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!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sheena Macleod.
Author 19 books68 followers
January 23, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Douglas Debelak.
Author 3 books28 followers
February 27, 2018
No Fourth River

By Christine Clayfield

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.
Profile Image for Carolee Croft.
Author 9 books74 followers
February 28, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Claire Lyons.
111 reviews13 followers
March 17, 2018
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.
4 reviews
January 3, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Camillea Camillea.
Author 3 books63 followers
June 12, 2018
Have you ever read a book so emotionally heavy that you want to take a break from it and yet you can’t convince yourself to do so?

That is how I would described my experience reading No Fourth River. Before I even began reading I was filled with a trepidation. Was I really up for reading a true story on abuse? As someone who has been in the throes of relationship abuse, Christine’s story scared me.

Even knowing No Fourth River is non-fiction, I was still very surprised with how honest Christine narrated her life story – there were no hazy details, no softening of the humiliation – everything was laid bare for the readers. Now, this was at a time when people considered domestic abuse normal; abusive men were simply considered as disciplinarians. Even if the women wanted to leave, during then there was no social support for the victims. So, even though Christine’s mother might have been in a privileged and powerful house, her own identity and her own personal problems were tucked into the family’s back pocket.

I cried with this book. It was so heartbreaking to read of how Christine suffered at the hands of her bullies – at home and at school. There was no safe place at all! Yet, in spite of the beatings and being called useless, in spite of the mistakes she made, Christine found the strength to forgive herself. This is something I want people who read No Fourth River to take back from it.

Christine’s story taught me that no matter how low we fall, no matter how “bad” we become, there is always a way back. The road back is one we build with our own hands and, honestly, we don’t need the bricks and the cement just yet. All we need to do begin walking it.

For me, reading about Christine’s abusive relationship was the hardest. I cannot write this review without getting personal, to be honest. But that is what I believe this book aims for. It wishes to touch its readers on a personal and emotional level. It was to jolt us awake and away from any harmful situation we are in.

No Fourth River leaves no room for guessing; it is written with complete honesty. There is great detail about the bad and even the good; for some, this may make for an uncomfortable read. Though the inclusion of the love letters felt a bit off for me, it also made me think how we don’t do enough to celebrate love with a carefree nature. While we are ready to read about a troubled childhood, why aren’t we keen on romance? Christine lays claim to both her terrible past and her own wonderful present.

I admired how the author wrote frankly about her achievements, owning it. Christine worked and went to evening schools, while in an abusive relationship, so that she could shape her future. After she left, she continued to pursue courses outside of her comfort zone eventually leading her to become a dealer for computers in Belgium. Christine made use of her keen mind to find what was needed and made a business of it.

On a personal note, this – celebrating one’s victories – is something that survivors of abuse struggle to do. We shy away from trumpeting our achievements out of the belief that they are not our own. So it was very refreshing and inspiring to read Christine’s life and feel like, why am I shying away? Why don’t I speak up of my own victories? This book is more than just about an abusive past and the struggles to get out of it, it is a celebration of women who swallowed the fire, so she could light her own way.

Thank you, Christine Clayfield, RASC Publishing and Bookollective for providing me with a e-copy for my honest opinion. Follow me at Camillea Reads for more bookish adventures

Profile Image for Linda.
69 reviews2 followers
June 17, 2018
No Fourth River is an inspiration to all and a must read for anyone who is suffering from abuse or seemingly insurmountable hardships. The book is a novel based on the life of Christine Clayfield. As a child, Christine suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of a dogmatic, disturbed father, the nuns who were her teachers, and other children. As an adult, the pattern continued with physically and emotionally abusive relationships. Despite her horrific past, following one particularly brutal beating which left her in a coma, she made the decision that she was going to start expecting more for herself and she does. She immediately divorces her husband and begins to change her life. She realizes that she is in control of her own destiny and the strides that she makes both personally and professionally clearly reinforce
the fact that it is possible to overcome any obstacle if you’re willing to work hard and make the decision to change your life: it is each individual‘s choice.

Christine becomes a highly successful business woman. While she was proud of what she accomplished in business and of being a hard worker, her greatest achievements were clearly finding the love of her life and her children.
While the book is frequently hard to read because of the heart wrenching description of the abuse that she suffered, Christine does an excellent job of not letting her story become a tragedy by showing her strength and giving the reader numerous valid pointers to live by. Sharing her own keys to survival, she becomes a great example of what can happen when one owns their power, works hard, and doesn’t allow setbacks to stop them. She also shares the value of learning from your mistakes and not only trying to understand your abuser but of forgiveness.

The author uses her mother’s sudden illness to begin the account of her story. I found this approach to be very effective as it eases the reader into the very painful story and, at the same time, helps to immediately begin to see the impact that early history had on the entire family. Occasionally I felt like there were parts of the story that didn’t flow very smoothly but this was rare. I also felt that there was an overuse of letters to and from her husband and found this to be distracting. However, if I could change anything about the book, it would be to make it strictly a memoir as I found myself wondering what changes have been made to the story. Neither of these issues were significant.

There is much more that could be said about this remarkable woman and the lessons to be gleaned from her story, but, in summary, I highly recommend this book. It is not only inspirational, I found that despite considerable experience in the area, I learned a lot about the impact of abuse on both biological and psychological development. This is a story of a remarkable woman and anyone can come away with lessons from her life.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy.
Profile Image for J.A. Kalis.
Author 5 books114 followers
November 15, 2018
A personal story of a woman who grew up in a rich household with an authoritarian, controlling father, a weak and almost inexistent mother and four brothers. Her father, a successful businessman was strongly motivated by success and achievement in all his actions and didn’t tolerate any sign of weakness in any of his children what caused a lot of suffering to them and left wounds for the rest of their lives. He had unrealistic expectations and punished his children when they didn’t live up to them. Her mother was a woman who chose to accept his aggressive behaviour and did nothing to stop him from hurting her children. She loved money ( especially spending them on luxury items), the high social status and the luxury life and was afraid to lose it all. The author blames her father’s domineering personality for the wrong choices she made in life. Yet, when she grows up, she becomes much like him, strongly motivated by success and achievement and not by any true interest.
I liked the author’s writing style, easy to follow and straight to the point. The story kept me engaged. What I didn’t like was the self-victimization of the author throughout the story and blaming others for all the miseries in her life without taking responsibility for her own actions and mistakes. I found the second part of the book less interesting than the first one.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.