The River Nymph

Fiction - Southern
574 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born and raised in small-town agricultural Georgia, a place dear to my heart. I’ve lived in Atlanta most of my adult life, where I helped to start a small business and raised three children, one with special needs. I’ve been a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald since my college days, and he writes a lot about spoiled, fun-loving flappers.
Inspired, I started a twenties book set in middle Georgia about a spoiled flapper who needs to grow in character. I came to a point where I needed a nurse for a baby. I asked myself where she came from, and when I began to write, her whole character poured out onto the page--her background, her family, and her circumstances. I knew then that my nurse and her journey out of poverty to a better life would have to be the focus of the story.
My flapper’s still there, with her own story—and she still learns her lesson.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In The River Nymph by Anne Lovett, Tenny runs away from home, hoping to leave behind all the pain from her childhood. Her brother had gone off to war, never to return home, and Tenny is determined to find him. Tenny wishes to make something out of her disheartening situation and go back for her sister. She arrives at Ashbyville, Georgia unsure of what course her life will take. Her first days are fraught with obstacles but Tenny knows she has no place to go back to. Meanwhile, Pete and Gussie, two cousins from Ashbyville, meet Tenny by chance. Pete is beguiled by the image taken by Gussie, the image of the girl at the river. Gussie longs for a different lifestyle from her mother’s. She intends to become a renowned photographer but is she too far ahead of her time?

Anne Lovett’s The River Nymph follows Tenny’s story as she runs away and arrives in Ashbyville and her life after that. Her tenacity is inspiring as she fights every impediment on her path to following her dreams. The supporting characters anchor the story as their roles build the themes of the book. The work is also a heartfelt recollection of the drawbacks women in the early 1900s endured, yet they chose to hold on to their dreams and pave the way for others behind them. It also touches on social and political issues prevalent in that era, including racism. The plot is made compelling by the twists that each character encounters and lives through. The River Nymph by Anne Lovett is inspiring, making it a great book for readers who enjoy thought-provoking novels.

K.C. Finn

The River Nymph is a work of historical drama set in the deep south, penned by author Anne Lovett. In a tale of two bold young women seeking success, love, and admiration in the nineteen-twenties, the story begins with fourteen-year-old Tenny as she escapes a Georgia plantation in search of her brother and a better life. When she crosses paths with seventeen-year-old Augusta, a keen photographer who yearns for the bright lights of New York City, their journey to achieve their dreams truly begins. That is until the smooth-talking Ned Fletcher arrives to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, creating confusion and heartache wherever he goes.

One thing I particularly liked about this lengthy but engrossing novel was the variety of work and social situations that the girls encounter as they try to find their place and happiness in the world. Author Anne Lovett has clearly done some fantastic research into the historical logistics of how a small group of young people would travel and search for success, making for a realistic and uplifting story which has both female empowerment themes, but also vulnerability, traditional romance moments and plenty of historical realism. The depictions of the locations were highly atmospheric and cinematic in the word choice, whilst the dialogue leaped off the page with authenticity and flair. Overall, The River Nymph is a nostalgic, exciting and romantic tale of growing up fast in a big wide world, and it comes highly recommended for historical fiction and classic romance fans everywhere.

Rabia Tanveer

Tenny Chance was just 14 years old when she ran away from a Georgia plantation in search of her brother, a job and a better life. She had no idea that she would encounter Augusta “Gussie” Pemberton, a 17-year-old girl who would become a constant in her life. Both of these girls had their own dreams and aspirations, but they were determined to find out what life had in store for them. Tenny wanted to be a nurse and Gussie wanted recognition for her photography skills. However, life is not easy for them. They have to struggle hard, work harder and try to make it safely out of the murky waters of the real world. Can these two girls find their dreams?

The River Nymph by Anne Lovett is the story of two girls who struggle to find their way to a better future. What I loved most about this novel was how the protagonists were given a chance to explore, discover and find the best answers for themselves. The author didn’t rush anything; she kept a medium pace and allowed the characters to grow in their own time. The story felt very real; the descriptions, the imagery and the overall feel of the narrative transported me into the story. I saw the pictures the author painted with her words and felt what she wanted her characters to feel. I felt Gussie’s struggles, I felt how Tenny was desperate at times and that made the reading experience exceptional. It was a heavy read at times and made me stop for a minute before I could continue, but I never wanted to put the novel down. I hope to read more work from this author because she is just gifted. Intense and simply amazing.