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'Lena Rivers

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Author: Mary J. Holmes
Published: 1897
Language: English
Wordcount: 123,789 / 359 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 65.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 27,011
Added to site: 2004.07.10 8803
Genre: Romance

el piqued at his neglect, and to strive in many ways to attract his attention.

John, who was ambitious, met her advances more than half way, and finally, encouraged by her father, offered her his heart and hand. Under other circumstances, Matilda would undoubtedly have spurned him with contempt; but having heard that her recreant lover was about taking to himself a bride, she felt a desire, as she expressed it, "to let him know she could marry too." Accordingly, John was accepted, on condition that he changed the name of Nichols, which Miss Richards particularly disliked, to that of Livingstone. This was easily done, and the next letter which went to Oakland carried the news of John's marriage with the proud Matilda.

A few months later and Mr. Richards died, leaving his entire property to his daughter and her husband. John was now richer far than even in his wildest dreams he had ever hoped to be, and yet like many others, he found that riches alone could not insure happiness. And, indeed, to be hap

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.4 from 14 reviews: ****
Afifa Shamim

After reading this novel one realise that why Mary J. Holmes was best seller. It has all the contents of an entertaining read. Melodrama blend with humour pathos and romance. At one point of time one feel that it is a historical romance written by a contemporary author. The narrative technique is unique, omniscient as well as giving glimpse of characters as a stand by author. A wholesome entertainer. A feel good read.

I have been looking for this book for along time and wanted to read it. My mother was named Lena Rivers Cox- Whitehurst- and I loved her name and now get to read it. as I read some of the review I see that others are name after the book too! how great is that. just happy to fined it. Thanks in memory of my mother~ Diane~

Luena Price

I cant believe I just found this book. I now realize after all these years how my grandmother got her name - it was after this book title !! She was born in 1900 and her first and middle name were Lena Rivers. I have racked my brain and stumbled on this. I am NOW going to order it and read it ASAP - thanks for all the great reviews :-)


The novel was riddled with run on sentences, but was somewhat amusing.


If you enjoy poverty-to-riches, low-born-to-high-born, + back again, great coincidences and misunderstandings, you'll enjoy this Victorian romp, which has great characters and plots and counter-plots.


I agree with Leah. Well-written review. There is a clear differentiation between the protagonists (honorable and kind) and antagonists (scheming and proud), and the heavy plotting in the long middle of the story gets quite tedious. Some of the reactions are far-fetched. Two out of five at best.


i loved it.its a very intersting novel. one of my favrts :)


It was way over the top.

Leah A. Zeldes

This romantic saga, set before the Civil War, follows the ill-omened, orphaned 'Lena. Her parents married secretly; her father abandoned her mother before her fatal birth. She's forced from her loving, though impoverished, childhood home with her grandparents in rural Massachusetts, and must reside in Kentucky as a begrudged poor relation with her weak, henpecked uncle; his haughty, wealthy wife; and their spoiled children.

By mid-novel, the plot becomes very predictable: Of course, 'Lena grows up to be beautiful and accomplished. And, of course, many pitfalls and misunderstandings -- some deliberately fostered by her proud, plotting aunt and other spiteful characters -- lie between 'Lena and true love.

As in many romantic novels of the period, a significant part of the story hinges on the society's opinion of proper behavior for women.

Some minor, but interesting, background covers the life of slaves in Kentucky. The rest left me pretty cold.


Excellent book, well worth the time.


nice story of all time.


nice to read... sweet story


muy bueno


Lena Rivers is one of my all time favorite books. I read it about 3 to 4 times a year, and I never get tired of it. The story line is great. It makes you happy at one minute and then in the next chapter your sad and are wondering how they are going to get out of the problem, and then when you think it could not get any worse she raps up the story and you give a huge sigh of relief. I love how Mary J. Holmes portrays her characters and her story that makes you feel that you are right there with them. This is a great book that I will read for many more years to come.



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Bruce Borgos
Bruce Borgos (1959 - ) lives and writes from the Nevada desert. A near lifelong resident of the southwest, he combs his dusty newspaper daily looking for interesting topics to turn into great stories. As our Author of the Day, Borgos tells us more about his latest novel, Life Strings, a story about medical ethics, hard life choices and desperate circumstances.
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