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Book Title

The River

Richard Lutman

Word Count


Young Adult

60,000 - 80,000


What's it all about?

Driven by forces over which she has no control, sixteen-year-old Alison Hood’s hot blooded hunger brings her and her cousin Michael up against a past from which there is no escape. A story of tormented love between cousins and a German caretaker, THE RIVER is played out during the fateful summer of 1926 among the gypsy legends and mansions along the River called The Bracelet of the Earth.


Called the Bracelet of the Earth by the Indians who once dwelt near its shores, the Asaquonet River, reborn in the mountains with each clear drop of rain, brought life and death to the waiting world, which Michael Hood knew played no favorites. It ran in a wide tea-colored belt past the gypsy mound with its two graves, and through the hot summer meadows where the river mansions like the Hood’s Wind Tryst beckoned with shady porches and the quiet mysteries of high-ceilinged bedrooms.
In some places docks with stone parapets and balustrades had been built along the banks. And in other places were the boathouses, some as ornate as the mansions. It was from these places the lovers, the families, and the adventurous would row to a favorite shady spot and tie up to a tree to catch the last scrap of breeze that tickled the water.
Those who dared swam from the boats with a few tentative strokes, remembering the careless mistakes of the few who had misjudged the river and disappeared beneath the silent surface.
Their fear of the river made the boaters quiet as they lay stretched out, arms tawny and strong, with wine, lemonade, and sandwiches, some to read, others to sleep, all thought of talk gone in the shimmery heat that pressed at them. The children, drunk on enchanted air, played along the hot, sandy river banks until they sensed the uneasy stillness of the river. Then they crowded back into the boats where they sat, hands trailing in the water.
The River with the splash of a fish where landing ducks rippled a garland of daisies, as they welcomed a girl who plunged into the current.

The Hood family had summered at Wind Tryst in upstate Connecticut ever since the family’s patriarch, Josiah, had purchased it from a lawyer’s estate over forty years ago as a secluded refuge from city life. From early June to the middle of September the house would be full of children, adults, guests, and servants, the lives of each so intertwined as to be almost one, the children sometimes thinking they were adults, and the adults behaving like children in the uneasy tranquility of Wind Tryst.
Designed by one of the most famous architects in the City for the lawyer, who liked to gamble, Wind Tryst, hidden from the road by trees, was visible only through a large rusting black iron gate. A gravel driveway passed under the rows of great tulip poplar trees and circled around an ancient beech tree in front of the house. The brown stone mansion itself sat like a gingerbread

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