Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

by Barney Norris

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Cover of Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain, with sleeping cat

The title refers to the city of Salisbury and though Wikipedia only has three rivers mentioned I don’t doubt the other two are there somewhere. But also to the five lives that we delve into through the book. Five characters who each tell their own story and then exit. So it’s a little like a collection of short stories but the links are pretty strong. We see most of the characters return from a different point of view.

It’s super well written and easy to read; it really drew me in. Whilst each character had their own distinct voice the changeovers weren’t jarring. I think this was because the sense of place is very strong, you’re reading a story about a city that happens to be told through a handful of people.

I had a quick look to see what other books the author had written now, this one pretty much had ‘bright young thing’ written on it but it was also published a few years back. It looks like Norris mostly writes plays and that makes sense with this story, it’s several characters interacting on the stage of the city. But anyway, he’s written several more books since and I’ll be on the lookout for them.