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Camille Marchetta
  • Female
  • Somers
  • United States
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Something About Me and My Book:
Where to start? I love books and films, ballet and art, travel, and of course my family and friends. To start with, I was a literary agent, and then a television writer for shows like Dallas and Dynasty and Falcon Crest, among others, and fnally a novelist. In addition to co-authoring two fiction bestsellers with Ivana Trump, I've written three novels of my own. The River, By Moonlight is the latest. Set in 1917 in New York City and the Hudson River Valley, it deals with the death of a young woman, a talented artist, and its effect on her family and friends. They are devastated by her loss, and tormented by questions of how and why.
ON A RAINY APRIL NIGHT in 1917, a passing vagrant sees a young woman fall (or is it jump?) into New York City’s Hudson River. He tries to save her, but fails. The police tentatively identify the woman as Lily Canning, twenty-five years old, from Minuit, a town in the Hudson Valley.
But is it Lily? The question torments her mother, Henrietta, as she awaits confirmation. And when it comes, even more anguishing questions arise, for neither accident nor suicide makes sense. Lily could swim like a fish, and with her looks, and wealth, and talent, with an exhibition of her paintings about to open at a prestigious New York gallery, she had everything to live for.
In the days following her drowning, her heartbroken mother, her estranged husband, Edmund, her family, her friends, even the servant girl, Nuala, try to unravel Lily’s secrets and to come to terms with the devastating consequences of her loss on their own lives.
Set in New York City and the Hudson River Valley, when the country was poised on the brink of the First World War, The River, By Moonlight is a vivid evocation of time and place, and a poignant portrayal of what happens when individual actions and national events collide.
Above all, it is a deeply moving study of grief and despair, of the resilience of human nature, and the triumph of determination and hope.


One phone call and a widow is left distraught. One visit to the hospital and a young woman loses her best friend. One letter and a selfish cousin sees new opportunities. One obituary and a reporter goes straight to New York. One woman dies and the stage is set for "The River, By Moonlight," an extensive and emotional novel by Camille Marchetta.
The story takes place over a few days in 1917, focusing on the drowning of Lily Canning, a young artist and prominent member of the small Hudson River town of Minuit. Her death - possibly an accident, possibly suicide - sets a wave of grief among the town's residents, all wondering how this talented girl could have come to such a tragic end.
Emotionally, the novel connects fiercely with readers as it takes us through Lily's friends and family. Each chapter is set from the mindset of different characters, ranging from Lily's emotionally battered mother Etta to her empathetic best friend Rosaline and estranged ex-husband Edmund. Though written in third-person, there is a definite change of voice between each chapter - in addition to grief we see callousness, artistic distraction and unrequited love.
"The River" works not only as a story of loss, but as historical fiction. Beyond frequent mention of America's entrance into World War I - and the debate of several male characters on enlisting - Marchetta details the era's newspapers, river industry and the advent of Pablo Picasso's modern art. The writing also has a vintage feel to it, with character voices matching their station: old-fashioned precision for the wealthy, calm and conversational for servant and rougher everyday for Edmund's newspaperman background.
Though Lily's chapter takes away some of the momentum, it is quickly restored by the last chapter taking place five years later. Characters have died or moved on with their lives, and Lily becomes an image that they turn to on occasion to simply ask "why?" With this feeling of loss and recovery the book closes, ending on the themes which make "The River, By Moonlight" such a forceful read.

From Kirkus Discoveries:

A personal misfortune set against a backdrop of global crisis.
In 1917, the United States was on the brink of entering World War I, and art was moving away from Impressionism toward a more modern view. Meanwhile, Lily Canning, the daughter of a well-to-do family and an artist on the verge of fame, seems to have everything going for her—good looks, a loving family, wealth and talent. Despite appearances, however, Lily is supremely unhappy, a fact not unnoticed by her friends and family. Nevertheless, when her widowed mother receives a call revealing that Lily has jumped into the Hudson River and died, everyone is shocked. She had seemed happier since she left her husband and was anticipating her first art opening at a New York gallery. Suicide seems unfathomable. As her loved ones speculate about Lily’s last hours, Marchetta slowly reveals the heroine in layers through the narration of those closest to her, such as her best friend, her cousins and her estranged husband. Each character’s memories of Lily are interrupted by daily minutia and woven together with feelings about their own lives, as well as fears about the impending war and the morality of Lily’s last act, mirroring the same realistic style in which Lily painted. Eventually, Lily herself reveals the truth behind her death. There is nothing particularly surprising about the ending and no fancy plot devices. Marchetta’s prose is elegant in its simplicity, its rhythm gently carrying the reader forward like the Hudson River that figures so prominently throughout the story.
An uncomplicated but intriguing read portraying the interconnectedness of people, the effects of grief and depression and the power of hope.

Marchetta, Camille
Virtualbookworm Publishing
(359 pp.)
978-1-60264-017-7 Softcover
978-1-60264-018-4 Hardcover

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Camille Marchetta's Blog

Week's End

Despite the ongoing financial mess, my wories about my retirement fund, my terror about the state of the country and the world, my mood today is much better than it was at the start of the week. What certanly helped was spending a large part of it with family and friends who've done their best to cheer me up, showering me with affection, buying me celebratory meals, making me laugh. Then, too, the election polls have shifted in "my" favor and I'm elated, as it encourages me to believe that,… Continue

Posted on September 20, 2008 at 9:20am


I had a birthday on Monday. Usually, I'm ecstatic on my birthdays. They're such a great reason to celebrate one's life, one's self. This year, however, was different. Instead of joy, I awoke with a knot in my stomach. I'm worried about the economy, the election, the country, the world. I can't seem to shake a feeling of dread. I'm trying, though. I have so much to be grateful for -- my family, my friends, the very real comforts and pleasures of my own personal paradise. And of course I'm… Continue

Posted on September 17, 2008 at 11:34am

Jenn Hollowell Read My Book

If you surf on over to:

you can read what Jenn had to say about "The River, By Moonlight". It's always encouraging when a reader/reviewer enjoys a novel, but when they say it's left them thinking, too, well ... there's nothing better than that, is there?

Posted on September 15, 2008 at 12:00pm

On The Road Again

Today is the first day of a new booktour for my novel, The River By Moonlight. And it's started off well. I've got another good review posted at:

If you have a minute, please stop by and add a comment. And if you've already read the book, your personal two cents would be a welcome addition.

Posted on September 1, 2008 at 10:48am

Writers' Roundtable

Next Wednesday, March 19th, at 7PM, I'll be taking part in a writers' roundtable at:

1499 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by. I'll be talking (at least a little bit) about my novel, The River, By Moonlight.

Posted on March 13, 2008 at 11:30am

Comment Wall (10 comments)

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At 1:06pm on February 20, 2009, Bert Martinez said…
Hello, I'm Bert Martinez, I'm looking to network with success minded authors. If you would like my free report 30 Strategies for Selling More Books just fill out the form below. I look forward to networking with you and if there is anything that I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me.

You Were Created to Succeed!

Bert Martinez

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At 8:02pm on March 19, 2008, Dyan Garris said…
Hello Camille. How sweet of you! I had no idea I was a web celeb. LOL! Funny! If you have myspace, let's be friends there too. You have lovely, clear energy. Thank you for the friendship. myspace/com/voiceoftheangels.
At 9:37pm on March 6, 2008, Camille Marchetta said…
Now, that's what I call a LIFE! It was fun to read. I'm glad you wrote it.
At 9:00pm on March 6, 2008, Linton Robinson said…
Good point about mystery ID, Camille. I dislike "bios" but you're right that it's only polite to share some here. So I did.
I'd like to have you on my "board of friends" because you seem interesting. To say the least.
At 7:59am on March 4, 2008, Susan Cook-Jahme said…
Hi Camille,
Great to have you as a friend, thanks for the message :0)
At 6:53pm on February 19, 2008, deborah thomas said…
i'm not realy sure. the person who is running it has a info paacket detailing how to go about doing things. i know she has a few blogs and contact but i think, or from whta i'm gathering from the information, i should have some contacts of my own also. that i'm trying to do cause i want to have some of my own avenues too apart from hers.

most of my stuff right now is being featured on a couple of sites and two upcoming radio spots. it's a start i guess.
At 3:13pm on February 14, 2008, Camille Marchetta said…
it would be great.

I'm almost on to the next.

At 7:32pm on February 7, 2008, Patrice-Anne Rutledge said…
Hi Camille --

Thanks for your comments on my page. Your new book looks interesting -- will have to check it out. I'm impressed with your background as well. My uncle was a television writer, but that's one area of writing I haven't tried -- at least not yet!

At 2:48pm on February 1, 2008, John Kremer said…
I hope your book tour goes well. Welcome to the network.
At 10:45am on February 1, 2008, Dorothy Thompson said…
Hi Camille! I'm heading over there now!

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