top of page

The House by the River

Updated: Jun 4, 2018

An emotional and poignant Greek family saga following five young women as they pursue their dreams, only to realize their home by the river is a healing place.



Life was simple in the house by the river at the foot of Mount Olympus in Greece. Theodora and the tall, handsome Gerasimos kept goats and chickens and a vegetable garden in the years preceding World War ll. And during this time they have five bright, beautiful and talented daughters: Melissanthi, Julia, Aspasia, Polyxeni, and Magdalini. Gerasimos faces an unfortunate death during the war and Theodora must use her wits and fortitude to keep her daughters fed and safe during the German occupation.

One by one, each of her daughters leaves home to pursue her dream for a future far away from the remote and simple village life. But before they go, Theodora takes each of them down to the river and assures them that when times get tough, they are always welcome to come back home again. She assures them that the river will wash away whatever trials and tribulations they may encounter. The storied life of each daughter is told independent of the others. Some marry and have children, some have careers and become famous, others follow their husbands around the world and enjoy wealth, and some experience loss and tragedy. They are all beautiful, independent women in the pursuit of their dreams far away from the house by the river.

“Life is like the river that flows in front of us. It carries you easily with it and pulls you wherever it’s going. And a river doesn’t come back. If it takes you away, you can’t come back. Always be careful of the river… make sure it doesn’t carry you away.“


Can you imagine having five daughters? Talk about drama! THE HOUSE BY THE RIVER is a riveting and delightfully entertaining saga that will grab you from the start. I listened to the Audible version which is over eighteen hours long. Many a night I would find myself staying awake late into the night. It was just to good to turn off...just 15 more minutes again and again! The writing was absolutely spell-binding and the character development superb. The chronicles of each the daughters lives were riveting, and busting with drama. My all-time favorite part of this book was when Theodora threw an memorable fit with Gerasimos and demanded that their daughter be educated. They were the very first girls in the village to go to school. Anyone who likes intricate family drama would like this epic novel, which spans over four decades.

Lena Manta has written thirteen books This is the first novel by the acclaimed Greek writer to appear in English translation. She was born in Istanbul, Turkey, to Greek parents. She moved to Greece at a young age where she now lives with her husband and two children on the outskirts of Athens.

Translator Gail Holst-Warhalf

Narrator Courtney Patterson

Publisher Brilliance Audio

Publication November 1, 2017.

43 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page