BOOK CLUB: Where The River Runs

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Author: Fleur McDonald
ISBN: 9781760633141
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Fleur McDonald is a bestselling author at the top of her game, she writes compelling rural fiction with more than just a hint of suspense.


Chelsea Taylor left her family’s property in the small country town of Barker filled with talent, ambition and determination to make it as a concert pianist. She thought she had it made and wanted to prove herself to everyone at home.

Ten years later she finds herself back in Barker with her four year-old daughter, Aria, to face the father who yelled at her over the phone never to come home again.

Chelsea and Aria settle into life on the land with the beginnings of a truce developing with Tom. The farmhand, Cal, already seems to have formed a less than complimentary impression of Chelsea. A shocking discovery in the riverbed rocks the foundations being slowly built.

Detective Dave Burrows is a character who has popped up a number of times in McDonald’s books and he arrives in Where the River Runs to investigate a discovery on the riverbed and uncover the secrets of the past.

Chelsea just wants to build a relationship with her dad but whether she’ll get the opportunity is anyone’s guess.

Fleur McDonald loves to hear from her readers and you can find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Where the River Runs is published by Allen & Unwin and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Allen & Unwin 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are currently reading Where the River Runs and you can read their thoughts on the book in the comments below, please be aware there may be spoilers.

11 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Where The River Runs

  1. I really enjoyed Where the River Runs, it made me smile and cry, so easy to read but hard to put down.

    Chelsea leaves her rural home town in the Flinders Ranges to pursue her dream of becoming a professional Pianist. She returns 10 years later with her young daughter in tow. Her reunion isn’t an easy one; she sets out to mend old friendships and relationships and to explain her absence to a small town full of people ready to judge her.

    This story has tales of family heartache and breakdown, touch of romance and loss, healing and mending all the while tied into investigation near by that brings out many old family secrets.

    The book flowed easily, I loved the style and genre and how easy it was to like the characters in this book.

    I have read a couple of Fleurs McDonalds books and this one won’t disappoint. Thank you Beauty and Lace Book Club and Allen & Unwin for the reading and reviewing opportunity, most happy to recommend this book.

  2. This book by the very talented Fleur McDonald is a beautiful story and I’m glad that Chelsea went home to make up for past mistakes and to make up with her father and put the past behind her and start looking to the future without a career of being a concert pianist

  3. Where the River Runs by Fleur McDonald
    I’m a huge fan of Fleurs books and this is yet another great book!
    There probably wasn’t as much mystery and suspense as some of her previous books, instead it focused more on past mysteries.
    I love how Dave Burrows features again and we are able to keep up with his life.
    As well as solving a generations old mystery, the search led by detective Dave Burrows, the story focuses on Chelsea returning home to Barker after a ten year absence which saw her travelling all over the world as a concert pianist. Strong will and determination lead Chelsea to the top of her profession but that and a series of family tragedies lead to a rift forming between Chelsea and her father Tom. On returning home the rift between Chelsea and Tom is eased by Chelsea’s 4 year old daughter Aria but they need to delve back into the past in order to be able to heal and move forward. Add Tom’s farmhand Cal to the mix and Chelsea starts to think she may be able to call Barker home again.
    Delving into past hurts, regrets and disappointments Where the River Runs is a story of finding yourself, new beginnings and accepting the past.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for the chance to review Where the River Runs.

  4. I love rural country love stories and this book was an easy engaging entertaining read.
    I love the way Chelsea’s character overcomes past mistakes and like the strong woman she is comes home to make amends and move forward reuniting with her family, finding new love and settles back home with her little daughter .
    Loved the way Aria connected with her grandfather and eased the forgiveness between the father and daughter bond.
    I also loved reading about the familiar Aussie style celebrations like Xmas pageants reminding me of my own childhood .
    Thanks Fleur McDonald for this heart warming country life novel … such an awesome feel good story .

  5. Where the river runs is another fantastic book by Fleur McDonald. As usual I was pulled into the story and couldn’t stop reading. Her writing is so descriptive that I could picture the land she describes and felt as if I’d visited myself!

    Chelsea’s story is one that is easy to resonate with – so many families have troubles and miscommunications that fester and get bigger than they ought to and it’s a great reminder to sort these issues out before it’s too late.
    It was great to have Detective Dave on the scene again to help solve another mystery. I love the way Fleur includes characters from other novels and you get the chance to develop your understanding of them even more.

    The way Fleur writes about people and their relationships is spot on! You get a real sense of who they are and find yourself trying to figure them out along the way.

    The only downfall of this book was I felt I could have kept reading another 100-200 pages! It felt too short – but not in a way that left things unfinished I was just enjoying the story so much I was disappointed to be done!

  6. A book by Fleur McDonald is always an adventure.

    Where the River Runs is another great story featuring Detective Dave Burrows. I’m loving how with each book with Dave in it we get to learn a little bit more about him.

    Fleur has magically woven two stories into one so as you get into the developing story about Chelsea there is also another story about Dave and his life just right along side it.

    Chelsea has moved back home to Barker with her four-year-old daughter Aria.
    Back to where her family lived. Back to where she left her father and the farm.
    Back to life on the land with her dad and Cal.

    Dave has been called out to look at a shocking discovery of a body in a riverbed.
    How did it get there?
    Who does it belong to?

    Both Dave and Chelsea have to go back to the past to understand and unlock the secrets and mysteries that will help them both.

    The story of Dave is one I am enjoying learning about and I love the way Fleur has written him into the story of this book and the ones before. I’m eager to find out more with each book and soon it will be time for him to have his own story again.

    When I realised that this story was going to end I felt that it was all too soon. It felt like there were parts of the story that were rushed and those bits needed a little more to them than they were given.

    It doesn’t take away from the story but I felt there was more to tell.

    An amazing story about families, love, loss, forgiveness and the beautiful country that we are lucky to have around us.
    Fleur is a story teller who lets you feel the land, fall in love with the characters and dream with a big full heart.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for giving me this book to read.

  7. Thanks to Beauty & Lace Book Club, I discovered Fleur McDonald through one of her previous books ‘Fools Gold’, which I found to be fantastic. You know that feeling of excitement that you get when you find a new author, find that you live their work, then the next book is a let down and the deep disappointment that brings? Well, that did NOT happen here!
    Fleur McDonald has really mastered her craft and I found ‘Where the River Runs’ to be engaging and entertaining. The author delves into family estrangement and all the emotion that it brings, betrayal, anger, regret and yet, she still manages to make the story gripping, enjoyable and inspiring.
    I loved watching the main character, Chelsea, grow and reconcile with herself. The characters are authentic and are portrayed in a way that you can relate to them.
    Thank you Beauty & Lace Book Club and Allen & Unwin for another great book. I look forward to the next one!

  8. I enjoyed this book very much. I like rural stories and this was no exception. It was nice to have a mystery as well as a bit of romance and complex family relationships. I will look out for further Fleur McDonald books. Thank you very much.

  9. Where the River Runs by Fleur McDonald was a fantastic read. The story focuses on Chelsea’s return to her Family’s farm with her 4 year old daughter. After a shocking discovery found buried on the property, the police get involved to try and piece together what had happened. Meanwhile Chelsea battles through the emotions of her mother’s death and tries to reconnect with her father. This book was an enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

    Thank you

  10. I have always been a fan of Fleur McDonald & this book definately continued that love affair.

    The story itself has a little of everything, flows really well from previous storylines (however not so much to distract from this standalone book or to confuse readers who haven’t read any previous F.McDonald books).

    I would definately recommend!

  11. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review another stellar offering from Fleur McDonald.

    Fleur knows how to have her audience laughing and crying – her stories are all about the emotion of her characters that she brings to life on every page.

    The storyline is a familiar one, but there are enough twists along the way to feed your imagination and have you wondering just a little, until the answer is revealed.

    Without giving away too much, Where The River Runs follows the story of concert pianist Chelsea Taylor who left home and didn’t think she’d ever return to the small country town of Baxter. After the death of her brother, then her mum, there were few reasons to return to the place that held so many bad memories and so much pain for Chelsea, but sometimes you have to face your fears to overcome them.

    Returning to her father’s property is not an easy transition, but they soon begin to mend the long-damaged fences with the help of little Aria, Chelsea’s daughter.

    With an historical murder thrown in, Where The River Runs, has a great balance of romance and intrigue, with our favourite rural detective, Dave Burrows, to have you hooked until the last word.

    I was left wanting to know more about Chelsea’s story and where her budding romance would lead, and what was awaiting Dave on a return home after many years.

    Highly recommended.

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