Review: The Frozen Thames

Helen Humphreys (2009)

England’s most famous river has frozen 42 times in recorded history, the first time in 1142, the last in 1895. The author uses each of these frozen moments in time as the backdrop for 42 short stories. Spare, moving prose vividly evokes a time, place, and character in an economy of words. Engrossing reading, even if you have no interest in the river or even English history, because each piece is so richly drawn from the characters that give them life. Beautiful period illustrations accompany each story, none more than a few pages long. This small book is historical fiction in its purest form–an absolute wonder.

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