Where the River Bends By Elsa Winckler – Book Review

Where the River Bends By Elsa Winckler – Book Review

Where the River Bends by Elsa Winckler

Where the River Bends

Author – Elsa Winckler
Publisher – Tule Publishing
Pages – 226
Released – 26th July 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1949068672
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Kerstin
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


Kalinda Evans works for the Anglo-Boer war foundation in Canada. She’s sent to South Africa to make sure everyone who lost their lives in the war will be remembered. On her drive to the guest farm in Kimberley, South Africa, Kalinda picks up a female hitchhiker and is startled when just moments later, the woman vanishes. Kalinda would be convinced she was dreaming…except there’s still a white lace handkerchief on the passenger seat.

Extreme sports enthusiast and computer game designer Zack Carter is always after the next big challenge. He’s far too busy for romance and adheres to a three-date rule, until he meets his parents’ latest guest. When she relays the story of her mysterious experience, Zack’s family shares the local ghost story.

Kalinda and Zack work together to solve the puzzle of the ghost and how it all ties in with the war and the work Kalinda is doing. As their attraction grows, Zack realizes he no longer feels the need to prove anything to himself. He only needs to prove to Kalinda that he’s more than a good time.

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Kalinda works for the Anglo Boer War Foundation and is sent back to her home country, South Africa to make sure none of the victims of the war is forgotten. The journey to South Africa brings back memories of her past with her ex-husband. The physical and psychological violence he treated Kalinda with led to her escape to her cousin Erica who lived in Canada where she started a new life trying to forget everything about her past and the violence she had to endure. As an effect, Kalinda turned into a serious person and only ever lightened up in her work for the foundation.

On her way from the airport to the farm where she is going to live during her stay, she picks up a woman who mysteriously vanishes and only leaves a white lace handkerchief behind. Kalinda thinks she must have dreamt about her passenger.

At the farm, she meets not only the friendly old couple Madeline and Zacharias but also their two sons Luke and Zach. Kalinda learns from Madeline about ghost Suzie, a Canadian nurse, and her tragic love story with a soldier during the Anglo Boer War. Suzie has been roaming the streets ever since and has encountered several women of the village on their way to meeting their future husband, including Madeline herself. Now Kalinda knows she wasn’t dreaming, she realises she really did meet a ghost.

Kalinda is intrigued by Suzie and starts to investigate the mysteries surrounding her and her story. Maybe she is able to help let her finally rest in peace.

Kalinda is also busy trying to ignore Zach, who is determined to help her. He is into extreme sports and is staying at the farm to recover from pneumonia. His next race is going to be in Russia in a few weeks time. There is a special chemistry between Kalinda and Zach, which both of them feel immediately but Kalinda’s past and Zach’s three-dates-only-rule and his lifestyle are in their way.

Oh my, I loved reading Where the River Bends. I was utterly dragged into the story and enjoyed every bit of it. This book has it all: a strong and interesting main character, likeable secondary characters, and an absolutely glorious and suspenseful plot which has the right amount of love and mystery mixed together.

It really was a gripping and pleasant read. The author has written an extraordinary book that takes place in South Africa, which is an unfamiliar region for me and made the read even more exciting.

For me, Where the River Bends is perfect for escaping reality for a while and diving into the world of Kalinda, Zach, and Suzie. This is a story full of mystery as well as a story about love and family. Who wouldn’t like that? If you are busy with work or life in general and are in need of a break, this book might be just perfect for you.

Reviewed by Kerstin

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About the Author

Elsa Winckler

I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 43 years, 3 beautiful children and three grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us.

And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

I was fortunate to win the best romance award for an Afrikaans story in 2010 in 2014 and in 2016.

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Where the River Bends

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24 Responses

  1. Thanks, Kerstin – I so appreciate your time!

  2. Gemma says:

    Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.
    Gemma @ Gemma’s Book Nook

  3. DJ Sakata says:

    Cool – I know so little about that country – other than the atrocities

  4. Wow – this sounds really interesting and multi-faceted.

  5. Tasha says:

    Fantastic 5 star review. This is a new one to me.

  6. Emma Mane says:

    Superb review. The book looks good to me.

  7. Mandi Schneck says:

    I heard this title and immediately thought of Pocahontas!

  8. A little bit of suspense and romance, sounds like an interesting read! Great review.

  9. Haven’t read of this one, looks pretty interesting.

  10. Rosie Amber says:

    I like this author’s work and her settings are great. I’ve also read this book and liked the ghost element.

  11. Robin Taylor says:

    Very enjoyable review

  12. Heidi says:

    That cover is so pretty! Great review!

  13. Glad you like the review.

  14. It really is. You’re welcome.

  15. Not much ever gets mentioned about it apart from the bad bits.

  16. It is a wonderful book. Well worth a read.

  17. I know, a lovely read.

  18. Thank you. It really is.

  19. I know what you mean, the colour of the book too helps.

  20. It’s a brilliant book. Thank you.

  21. It is very interesting.

  22. Wonderful, this is the first one of her books we have read.

  23. I agree. Thank you.