By Emilie Richards
Sometimes you can find the best books in the strangest places. I was in a thrift store looking for a small, vintage table when I ambled over and began pawing through a box of used books. When I picked up the worn copy of Fox River I recognized the name Emilie Richards right away. Although I’d never read but one other Emilie Richards’ novel, it made quite an impression on me. I never found the table I was looking for, but I brought home quite a find in this book.
Daughter of an aristocratic hunt master, artist Julia Warwick grew up in Race’s Ridge amidst the rolling, green hills of Virginia horse country. At age twenty she was happily planning her life with horse trainer Christian Carver when her best friend, Fidelity, is killed and Christian convicted of the murder. Julia’s world falls to pieces around her—alone, frightened, and pregnant with Christian’s child, she marries Bard Warwick. Bard needs to control every aspect of his life and that includes Julia.
Nine years after her marriage, Julia takes a tumble from her horse and although the doctors can find nothing physically wrong, she’s blind. Diagnosed with psychological trauma, Bard arranges for treatment at the exclusive and expensive Gandy Wilson Clinic. Feeling confined and controlled, Julia feels she truly is losing her mind and enlists the help of a nurse and her mother Maisy to free her. Against Bard’s wishes, Maisy takes Julia and her daughter Callie home to Ashburn. Just settling in and becoming more self sufficient, Julia’s world is turned upside down again when new evidence proves Christian was wrongly convicted and he returns to Race’s Ridge a free man. Who did kill Fidelity and what is it Julia’s mind refuses to see?
With its intricate plot of lies, deceit, and betrayal, as well as complex characterizations, Ms. Richards has given us a non-stop page-turner with Fox River. This story has it all, romance, intrigue, mystery and glimpses into the ugliness of certain social issues both past and present. At first I wasn’t happy about the story in a story aspect of this book, as Maisy reads the novel she’s writing to Julia, but I came to love it and realized it played an important role in pushing the plot of Fox River forward. I adored Maisy and believe she’s my favorite female character to date. If you can get your hands on a copy this book, I highly recommend it.