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Editorial Reviews

In the midst of the Partition of Poland, while armies and rebellious forces are tearing apart villages and families, young Anna Maria Berezowska finds herself forced to flee from her home. Without the aid of her parents, and faced with the jealous wrath of her cousin, Anna must navigate this world of war and romance alone. Performed with a warm intensity from veteran Dawn Harvey, Push Not the River is the romantic and thrilling journey based on the true diary of the young countess who survived one of the more tumultuous periods in Poland’s history.

Publisher's Summary

A panoramic and epic novel in the grand romantic style, Push Not the River is the rich story of Poland in the late 1700's - a time of heartache and turmoil as the country's once peaceful people are torn apart by neighboring countries and divided loyalties. It is then, at the young and vulnerable age of seventeen, that Lady Anna Maria Berezowska loses both of her parents and must leave the only home she has ever known. With Empress Catherine's Russian armies streaming in to take their spoils, Anna is quickly thrust into a world of love and hate, loyalty and deceit, patriotism and treason, life and death. Even kind Aunt Stella, Anna's new guardian, who soon comes to personify Poland's courage and spirit, can't protect Anna from the uncertain future of the country. Anna, no longer a child, turns to love and comfort in the form of Jan, a brave patriot and architect of democracy, unaware that her beautiful and enigmatic cousin, Zofia, has already set her sights on the handsome, young fighter.

Thus, Anna walks unwittingly into Zofia's jealous wrath and darkly sinister intentions. Forced to survive several tragic events, many of them orchestrated by the crafty Zofia, a strengthened Anna begins to learn to place herself in the way of destiny - for love and for her country. Heeding the proud spirit of her late father, Anna becomes a major player in the fight against the countries who come to partition her beloved Poland.

Push Not the River is based on the true eighteenth century diary of Anna Maria Berezowska, a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the historic Third of May Constitution. Vivid, romantic, and thrillingly paced, it paints the emotional and unforgettable story of the metamorphosis of a nation - and of a proud and resilient young woman.

©2003 James Conroyd Martin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Save your time; buy something else.

I very strongly disliked this narrator. There were pronunciation mistakes and each voice was more annoying than the last (Zophie!! The servants!!! UGH!!!!). The recording seemed hastily and sloppily done. It completely detracted from my enjoyment of the book. That being said--I wasn't very enamored of the story. It lacked great character development--Anna is sort of too good to be true; her aunt rather simple; the love story is not compelling. I wasn't invested in any of this. The Polish history and culture was rather bare boned too ...

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Poor Naration

Any additional comments?

I thought the story interesting and gripping. It's hard to believe it's based off of a real person. I thought Anna grew from a naive country girl into a smart and calculating patriot. The only problem I had was with the narrator. Her choice of voices for most of the characters was annoying and very distracting. However, the story was written well and held my attention enough to ignore the irritating narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great historical perspective

I remained engaged, although some parts moved somewhat slowly, while others shipped months at a time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Melodramatic and cartoonish.

The characters were very difficult to believe due to the melodramatic and exaggerated vocalizations of most of them. I suppose the narrator did the best she could, but the males all sounded so effeminate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 05-05-15

Royalty and Rubble in 1790s Poland

I was completely captivated by this historical novel about the Countess Anna Maria Berezowska and her family during the Partition of Poland in the l790s. First of all, Polish history is something I knew very little about, but when looking a a map of that time frame, I found that Poland was a large land mass, beside Russia. This novel, based on a 200 year old diary of the countess, provides great insight into the battle for Poland's right to remain an aristocracy. Anna, living through the historic Third of May Constitution in 1791, which gave rights of land ownership to the peasants, paints a vivid picture of the rise and fall of the hopes and dreams of the Polish people, while suffering great losses of her own. Her colorful cousin, Zofia, her complete opposite, foils many of Anna's plans . . . while Zofia is wild and unconventional, her schemes sometimes backfire, even on her . . . I've already started the second book in the series . . . You can't go wrong with Push Not the River . . .

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really absorbing family saga, light on history.

I enjoyed the story and the audio performance made it come alive. I'd like to listen to the trilogy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great storyline. Poor narration

I really enjoyed the storyline which was varied and unpredictable, but the different voices the narrator used were annoying and distracting. The men all had high-pitched breathy voices and the maid had a bad lisp. It's good historical fiction, if you can overlook the narration. Maybe the best the narrator could do, but didn't suit me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable and Relaxing Read

I was hooked right from the beginning. It takes place in Poland in the seventeen hundreds. The story line is about the nobility and their privileges, attitudes and downfalls, and spans over several years.

Being of Polish decent, the pronunciation of surnames and towns made me feel like I was part of the story. Kudos to the narrator for pronouncing them correctly.

The only complaint, is that the actions were predictable. There were no surprises, no aha moments or "who done it" (to me it was obvious). And some of the situations were hard to believe.

All in all, the book was worth it. Looking forward to listening to Book 2 and 3.


  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Two cousins 1790 Poland

Anna is the main character. Story start as she is a child. Follows her through adversity challenges, loss of loved ones. When she goes to live with her aunt, she becomes close to her cousin. But her cousin is disloyal and manipulative. They love the same man and vie for his hand in marriage. Poland is going through political upheaval. Very interesting and accurate history. The only draw back is the narrator's voices for other characters is high pitched and difficult. However the story is great and worth getting by

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This is a chic book

I chose this book for its Polish background however it is no Downton Abbey that set in England.
The book is a love story and not a male reading book.

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  • Marjanna
  • 07-23-16

A riveting story.

An epic tale that had me enthralled.
My only issue was the reader's irritating accent whenever she narrated the dialogue of a servant or any character that wasn't a noble - she made them all sound like half-wits and drove me to distraction.