The Girl by the River by Joyce DiPastena – Review

Posted November 20, 2017 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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The Girl by the River by Joyce DiPastena – Review

The Girl by the River

by Joyce DiPastena

Series: The Lady and the Minstrel #.05
Series Rating:
Publication Date November 15, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction
Setting: England Middle Ages - 400 to 1600
Main Character Ages: 0-14, 15-18
Written for: Adult
Pages: 14


Seven years before Robert and Marguerite fell in love in The Lady and the Minstrel, they had a brief, fateful encounter at a river’s edge. Now you can read exactly how that scene unfolded in The Girl Beside the River.

With only the clothes on his back and a few belongings, lowly serf Robert tries to escape from the lord who would have him killed, but he doesn't get far before he's trapped between the river's edge and a pack of hounds hot on his trail. Robert's only hope is to swim across the river, but the water will destroy his most precious possession. Can he risk losing his life to protect the one thing he prizes most? Frozen with indecision, with time running out, he stumbles across a ten-year-old girl also hiding among the reeds. Can the child help him, or will he die protecting her as well?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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I am of the opinion that it is almost harder to write a good short story than a longer one.  To be able to capture the interest of the reader and know how much or how little to share is something that not many authors have mastered.

The story takes place 7 years prior to the events of The Lady and the Minstrel and tells how Robert escapes from his serfdom and encounters Marguerite for the first time.  The author does a great job in bringing you alongside Robert as he flees.  In just a handful of pages, you are invested in seeing Robert get away and cheer him on.

The Girl by the River is a prequel of sorts to The Lady and the Minstrel (), though reading it afterwards works perfectly well.

About Joyce DiPastena

Joyce DiPastena

Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist).

Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in clean historical romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

All readers who sign up for her newletter receive a free copy of Loyalty’s Web.  The link is the one for her blog.


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One response to “The Girl by the River by Joyce DiPastena – Review

  1. Joyce DiPastena

    Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I’m so happy that you enjoyed both The Girl by the River and The Lady and the Minstrel! ?