What the River Knows Readalong: Day 1!

Beautiful photo by @onetruedaydreamer!

Hi fairy friends!

Happy Monday to you all and welcome to day 1 of our readalong of What the River Knows by Isabel IbañezI’m so excited to be reading this one with you, I hope you all love it!

Before we get into the book, how are you all doing? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got lots of reading done!

Since today is day 1, we’ll be reading from the beginning to the end of Capítulo Seis (Chapter 6). It’s time to get comfy and cosy with our book and get started!

When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez from the beginning to the end of Capítulo Seis (Chapter 6). Please only read on if you have finished reading this section!


We meet Inez, her mother and father are in Egypt and she longs to go and be with them. Every single time she gets correspondence from them she thinks this’ll be the one with the invite. So far no invites, but she did get a magical Egyptian artefact?

Her cousin Elvira arrives to tell Inez a letter has arrived. Is this it? Whatever it is the fact we’re joining Inez at this very moment means it has to be important, right?

Inez gets stick from her aunt Lorena and her other cousin Amaranta for being covered in paint all the time and it being unladylike. You do you, Inez!

Inez is sure this is finally it and she’s so excited, but it’s not just a letter, but a solicitor with a letter, Inez’s parents are missing, presumed dead.

Inez decides she’s taking matters into her own hands. She’s going to Cairo! Masked as a widower, she travels all the way hoping her Tío Ricardo will meet her at the other side. Ricardo’s nowhere in sight, but there is a young man smelling of booze, and he’s been sent to tell Inez to get right back on the boat. Shady!

Already, Inez is seeming like a force to be reckoned with and she tricks the mystery man and finds her own way to the hotel. Ok, I like her.

The train journey causes her to meet one Basil Sterling. The name already insinuates he’ll be pompous and, no doubt, British. Not only is he indeed pompous, he’s a no good thief and steals the very artefact we know Inez got from her father at the beginning of the book, a ring that potentially belongs to CLEOPATRA (???!!!), and then he has the audacity to make HER out to be in the wrong.

At least the people at the hotel are decent. They immediately put her up in her parents suite, recognising her. This must be so hard for Inez though. All of her parents stuff is untouched, as they left it.

Hayes (the mystery man now has a name!) eventually finds his way back to the hotel, and to Inez, and orders her not to leave, but to attend dinner with him and her uncle. Ok…

Interestingly, they’re not alone. Ricardo and Hayes are joined by Sir Evelyn and Monsieur Maspero. These names are epic. Tío Ricardo seems to harbour a dislike for them both due to their penchant for stealing Egyptian artefacts and replicas and selling them to tourists.

The talk doesn’t seem to go how Ricardo planned and Inez uses that -and her stolen ring- as an entry point into the conversation to try and get Ricardo to let her stay.

Regardless of her valiant efforts, really Inez I salute you, Ricardo is sending her away, and Hayes is tasked with keeping an eye on her until her swift departure arises.

What a starting point!

Did you anticipate the news Inez would receive at the start of the book? As soon as a solicitor was mentioned I knew and my heart broke for her!
Do you think Ricardo will really make Inez leave Egypt?
Do you think Inez will best Hayes again and make a run for it? Where do you think she’ll go if she does?

I’m loving the setting and the way the story’s been set up so far, see you tomorrow for another day of reading!


58 thoughts on “What the River Knows Readalong: Day 1!

  1. Isn’t the premise of the story hinged on her parents’ death? It was in the summary right? Though honestly it all seems rather suspicious given their bodies weren’t found…

    I mean Ricardo will certainly try, but I doubt Inez will let him haha. Hayes seems like he might side with Inez sooner or later, but maybe that’s just my shippy heart talking. But Inez will a hundred and one percent get one up on Hayes regardless. I’m guessing she’ll sneakily follow her uncle and Hayes on the expedition or meet them there.

    Excited to see what’s in store for Inez and Hayes ;););)

    1. It was a shock for me because I didn’t read the summary 😂 I heard rivals to lovers set in Egypt and that was all the convincing I needed!

  2. I am absolutely loving this so far!

    Yes! I was the same, as soon as a solicitor was mentioned, I thought the worst and was devastated for her! I hate that they didn’t have much to do with her 😭

    I don’t think Ricardo will make Inez leave Egypt, I think he underestimated her in the beginning and she’ll have her parents gift of finding artefacts!

    I think Inez will make a run for it from Hayes again, kind of loving this cat and mouse chase with them! They both seem full of wit and I hope it’s a “he falls first” situation!

    1. Oh, I would love this to turn into ‘he falls first’! 😍

  3. I’ve been anticipating this book since I first heard about it a few months before it released and oh boy it did NOT disappoint!

    I love Inez and I love Whit, and I’m so hype to see where this goes.

    My heart broke for her when we found out about her parents, and when her ring was stolen! Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe how abrasive and awful that man was.

    I don’t think she’ll leave Egypt, I think she’s going to either run off on her own or convince her Tio to let her stay.

    I’m already loving the dynamic between her and Hayes and I’m certain they will have more great banter!

    Looking forward to Day 2!

    1. Yessss, it’s SO good! I’m glad you’re enjoying it! 💜

  4. I can’t believe how much injustice poor Inez has faced already!

    Finding out her parents are dead and receiving no answers. Travelling across the world to demand them from her Uncle only to find out that he hasn’t bothered to meet her there. And worse!! That he’s sent someone in his stead, not to collect and welcome her, but to send her packing!!! AND THEN she has her ring stolen by the evil Mr. Sterling!! (The cherry on top of my fuming cake was when Mr Sterling asked to change carriages because Inez was about to ’cause hysterics’!)

    A lesser woman (me) would have done something crazy and/or, like bitten him or something.

    I hope she catches a break soon!

    1. I would also be the lesser woman in this situation so that had me cackling 😂

    2. Haha brilliant! I too would have fully lost it and played right into his thieving hands…He needs to get his comeuppance ASAP!

    3. I was SO mad when he stole the ring from her!!! When he said she was hysterical about HIS ring I was like 😡🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬 I WISHED I was really there and I would have fought him for Inez!!!

  5. My attitude after meeting Mr sterling and him just easily stealing the ring and getting away with it. I got so mad so fast. I had a feeling her parents died when it was a solicitor meeting her with a letter.

    I love the book so far and the writing style. Everything flows so well together and nicely. Mr. Hayes has something up his sleeve but at the same time keeping a facade on when it comes to Inez. I can’t wait to see that relationship expand. And I hope she doesn’t get shipped out. I get that in that time era, women, especially unwed women, don’t have much say, that’s not going to stop Inez from doing what she wants. She has a way apparently to get what she wants and I love that about her.

    1. Basil Sterling it the top of my enemies list right now! So glad to hear you’re loving it! 💜

  6. I am loving this so far and had to force myself to stop. It has made my Monday at work much more interesting…although now I just want to go on an adventure🥹

    I did know she lost her parents but I didn’t think it would happen so quick…Reading the solicitor was there, I just knew. They never bring good news do they?! I felt soo sorry for her too and hope her younger cousin returns…she is cute!

    Good luck to Ricardo trying to me make Inez leave Egypt, she is not going to go without a fight! Ooo I didn’t think about her making a run for it, I just thought she’d dig her heels in. I do hope she best Hayes again (I think he’d secretly love it!).

    I am still seething about Sterling and is behaviour on the train! Anyone else?

    1. So glad it could add some adventure to your work day! Basil Sterling has a lot of angry readers after him now. 👀

  7. I already have WAY too many thoughts omg! It’s been a while since I’ve done a read along 🙂 already love the mysterious vibes, Egypt is such a cool country so I can’t wait for our MC to go there. I don’t think Inez’ parents are dead at all, too mysterious. Love the Indiana jones vibe. Lmao she actually went on a boat to Egypt, by HERSELF? I’d be so scared in that time 🤣 I feel bad for her aunt and cousins though. And what’s up with her mysterious uncle?? I can’t believe she’d let that guy steal her ring though, that drove me mental. We’re also getting Whit POVs? Damn I love that. Why does he call her uncle employer and nothing else? Odd, is he really her uncle or some imposter? She’s trouble but I love it. I also already adore Whit. I don’t freaking trust her uncle at all omg but whit is great. I wonder whether he was searching for the ring. I’m glad she didn’t tell them about the ring though. The dinner conversation was intense, and although I don’t trust him, I do like that he fights for what he believes in and even pays his employees! I don’t really get all the politics yet because I can’t keep the names straight yet, but the murder mystery vibes are GREAT! I love the Miss Marple vibe so much, like I’m trying to figure out who dunnit🤣

    1. Thanks for joining us! I do love a who dunnit 😂

  8. The setting of this book is really wonderful. The magic in ancient artefacts is very captivating.
    My heart breaks for Inez every time she feels her parents rejection in their actions, and her uncle is making it all worse.
    I honestly don’t think he will succeed to send her back, if I were her, I would try anything to prevent it. She deserves the truth and some dignity.
    The her uncle brushes her off after the disappearance of her parents is horrible.
    Can’t wait to see how she fares in her quest for the truth.

    1. So glad to hear you’re loving the setting! 💜

  9. Ugh. I hate how she is treated. But I adore her and I love how she handles it. I probably would have acted exactly the same (or worse). 😅

    I resd the synopsis so the news regarding her parents didn’t suprise me. I do find it suspicious though and I’m suspecting they were murdered.

    I think Ricardo will try and fail miserably. 😂

    Inez will definetly continue to make a run for it. 😁

    1. She’s such a great main character, so strong and definitely knows how to go after what she wants! 💜

  10. I read the synopsis so I was prepared for the news and assumed that would be where the story began.

    I believe Ricardo will try but as we’ve already seen Inez is quite resourceful and stubborn! I reckon she won’t run this time, maybe just stay and try to reason with her uncle.

    Also the scene with Sterling! I was incredibly infuriated especially when he said she’s about to be hysterical! I just about lost my mind!

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapters!

    1. That line about her being hysterical had me audibly GASPING! 💜

  11. Yes, I did anticipate the sad news 😭 Ricardo will definitely try to make Inez leave. I have a feeling Hayes and Inez will be taking turns one-upping each other, and he will most likely fall for her 😍

    1. That’s a good theory, I hope it comes true! 🥰

  12. Yeh I had already read her parents died from the blurb but was still very sad reading about Inez finding out😭
    I think Ricardo will try maybe even a few times throughout the book but it’s not going to work. Seems like he knows more about what happened to her parents than he’s letting on🤔
    I think Inez will either run away herself or make a deal with Hayes to escape. There’s no stopping her until she finds out the truth.

    1. We love a main character that’ll stop at nothing to get answers! 👏

  13. I am loving this one already and am a big fan of the writing style. I hadn’t read the blurb either, but I did feel that Inez would get some bad news about her parents.
    I don’t think she will be forced to leave Egypt. I think she will start to uncover some more important information and I really can’t see her staying in the hotel I think she will end up going of on adventures with Hayes in tow. Can’t wait for Day 2

    1. So glad you’re loving it! 🖤

  14. I feel like there is a slight possibility her parents are still alive. Their bodies were never found and everyone just presumed they died due to the harsh conditions of the desert.

    I like the portrayal and criticism of British colonialism in Egypt.

    I don’t think she is going to leave Egypt, no matter how determined the others are to send her away. She will probably convince them to let her stay.

    1. Ooooooh, that’s an interesting theory! 💜

  15. Yes I had a feeling it was that but I still think they are not dead. Why send her the ring ?There’s something suspicious !!!
    They didn’t seem to have much trust in one another, even though I thought they worked together.
    Why not give Richard the ring? ( Richard and her parents)

    I think he will try to make her leave but I’m pretty sure she still have some bold moves to stay. Maybe she will use the fact that she had visions of cleopatra ? If not please girl do the exact same thing as when you arrive in Egypt. I really love when Whit realized that she was going to disappear on him
    Well it didn’t go that well for her since she lost the ring but still, his face was priceless !!! 😂

    1. DEFINITELY something suspicious going on here! 👀

  16. The whole thing comes off as sketchy. Where was her uncle when her parents went into the desert? The way he responds to Inez asking about the situation is off-putting. Her parents have been traveling to Eygpt for 17 years and should know the dangers of the desert, and yet, they suddenly disappear without any explanation? I don’t trust her uncle.

    Hayes is too mysterious for me. I need more backstory and answers as to how he came to work for her uncle.

    I need answers and I need them now.

    1. Right? Something strange is going on. I need answers! 😭

  17. Honestly the audacity of all these men. I have to remind myself that its the 19th century and that her uncle, a virtual stranger, can tell her what to do. *insert eyeroll here*

    There’s no way Ricardo will be successful, partially because Inez seems determined and also what would be the rest of the book? lol

    Definitely liking the semi-enemies to lovers plot that seems to be setting up between here and Hayes. I think she’ll continue to surprise him and he’ll respect her for it.

    1. Also eyerolling lots, I feel your pain! 💜

  18. I’m fuming at all the difficulties Inez has met so far. Basil Sterling is officially at the top of my shitlist.

    I’m loving Inez’s personality and her quick wit. I doubt her uncle will manage to get her out of the country. I can see her giving Mr. Hayes the slip again.

    I like that we get some paragraphs from Whit’s POV. I can’t help but picture him as O’Connell from the mummy and Inez as Evie. Their banter is so good and I’m totally here for it.

    1. I’m glad we’re all in agreement that Basil Sterling is the WORST! 💜

  19. This book is so much fun already!

    Inez is already a great character, I love that she’s willing to face every challenge that comes her way for the sake of her parent’s memory. That scene in the hotel where Sallam recognises her cause she looks like her mother was so sweet!

    I currently don’t trust any British man in this book except one Mr. Whitford Hayes, and Tio Ricardo is on thin ice. Why is he so insistent that Inez leave Egypt immediately? Is it to protect her from the same fate as her parents or there’s something more happening here?

    I hope that whatever further attempts to remove Inez from Egypt will involve Whit. I love them so much, they’re a riot together! That scene at the dock was hilarious, and I’m sure Inez will find new, creative ways to frustrate him.

    1. So happy you’re enjoying it! ✨

  20. I just don’t believe Inez’s parents are dead. I’m sure she’ll go on an adventure with Hayes and find clues to where they disappeared.
    But my outrage over Sterling’s theft of the ring!!!! I’m still not over it. That wastrel!!!

    1. I really didn’t expect him to steal from her! The gall! 👀

  21. So excited to read this one, I remember it being announced forever ago and have been anticipating it since. I did know that the book hinged on her parents’ death/disappearance so the start of the book was not a surprise. I’m invested in what happened to them though. Also why did they never bring her along in seventeen years? Surely they were not involved in super sketchy dealings from the very start.

    I was hoping that once she got to Africa her Uncle would be a comforting respite for Inez. That is far from the case, he is constantly pushing her away. There is no way he is going to succeed in getting her back on that boat though. I hope Inez slips Hayes again in the most spectacular fashion!
    I’m thinking that the imprinted magic from the ring will pull on Inez allowing her to follow a lead her Uncle cannot possibly find. Maybe after he will begrudgingly let her stay.

    Also I need them to get back at Sterling! I wanted to hurl the book across the room when he flipped the theft back on her.

    1. There’s definitely something sketchy going on I think! 🖤

  22. Did you anticipate the news Inez would receive at the start of the book?

    I feel so bad for Inez! I really hate that her parents were gone all of the time. They definitely put work as their first priority. It really hurt when the fact that Inex was sick and they weren’t there. They ended up coming later when she was recovered, or in the process of recovery. But still. Part of me does not think they are missing. They may be some magic at work here.

    Do you think Ricardo will really make Inez leave Egypt?
    I think he will certainly try. However, I do not think Inez will listen. She will either venture out on her own, or continuously outsmart her uncle and Hayes. I believe that she will be an asset to whatever they are looking for.

    Do you think Inez will best Hayes again and make a run for it? Where do you think she’ll go if she does?
    I hope so! She seems very smart. Like other comments above, I hope this is a he falls first situation. That would be so cute, Hayes just trailing after her. I think Inez will find the ring. There’s definitely some kind of magic at work.

  23. Really enjoying this so far!! I didn’t read the summary either so I’ve gone in to this only knowing it’s set in Egypt and it’s an enemies to lover.

    Did you anticipate the news Inez would receive at the start of the book? To start I thought it was someone who was going to take her to her parents in Egypt maybe a forced proximity enemies to lovers vibe. Once they said solicitor I knew but think that they might not be dead

    Do you think Ricardo will really make Inez leave Egypt? When he was first introduced into the story, instantly thought villain but then I softened to the character at the dinner but why so shady and the arm grabbing. He can try to make her leave but it’s not gonna happen.

    Do you think Inez will best Hayes again and make a run for it? Where do you think she’ll go if she does? There is no way he could stop her from doing what she’s set to do. She asked about a boat and the mention of an island??

    1. So happy you’re enjoying it! 🥰

  24. Well that was sad in the beginning. I had a feeling that it may go that way. Perhaps since they are presumed dead, there may be a chance they are not? I’m anxious to see what happens.

    I really like Inez. Her character is so feisty. I think Hayes may be a potential love interest too. He’s roughly her age is he not? Right now he’s more of an enemy to her that’s trying to make her go back home, and I just feel a like this book is going to have a little “enemies to lovers” thing going on. I do think she will best him again if he try’s to stand in the way of what she wants.

    Also talking about that ring, I’m so upset for her. It definitely seems like this is going to be a very important item in this book. I think this Stirling fellow may be our main bad guy. He’s seems super shady.

    1. I agree, he seems very shady! 💜

  25. I’m loving the setting so far. I did not expect the news Inez would hear from her parents. I thought she was going to Egypt to see her parents…
    I don’t think Ricardo will try to make Inez will leave egypt but she will actually stay, maybe stay somewhere else.
    And that ring is is suspicious and it might play an important role in the book.

  26. I’m really liking Inez, she’s so feisty, independent and resourceful. Hayes is definitely a love interest material. The ring is a crucial item and I hope she can retrieve it somehow.

    1. I also really love them together, they make a great pair! 😍

  27. I’m really loving it so far. Feels very much like a fun little mystery… I don’t think the parents are dead like AT ALL.

    Did you anticipate the news Inez would receive at the start of the book?
    I agree. Once the Solicitor was mentioned I knew it was going to be that.

    Do you think Ricardo will really make Inez leave Egypt?
    Not at all… She will stay surely!

    Do you think Inez will best Hayes again and make a run for it? Where do you think she’ll go if she does?
    Yes. I think she is going to start making her discoveries as to where the site is that her parents were working on and that will lead her to uncovering what happened to them.

    1. I think she has to stay too! I think she’ll have to put up a fight though 💜

  28. I went into this story blind, other than knowing it was enemies to lovers set in Egypt. As soon a the solicitor was mentioned, I too knew that her parents were dead. I’m hoping they are really hiding out somewhere!!

    I do think Ricardo will try to make her leave, but my guess is she runs and Hayes has to spend his time hunting her down/keeping her safe.

    I am excited to see where this is headed!!

  29. Finally starting this one after a chaotic week!

    Did you anticipate the news Inez would receive at the start of the book?
    -it’s mentioned in the blurb, so I definitely anticipated it

    Do you think Ricardo will really make Inez leave Egypt?
    -I think he’ll try, but Inez will find a way to stay 😉

    Do you think Inez will best Hayes again and make a run for it? Where do you think she’ll go if she does?
    -She seems spunky, and I like her a lot. I think she’ll maybe go to one of the sale rooms to find the ring

  30. Am I the only one who doesn’t trust her uncle????? I think he’s sketchy trying to force her away from egypt!! Like what is he hiding!! 🤨🤨🤨

    The Sterling guy made me so mad when he stole her ring, I wanted to stabbed him through the page. The AUDACITY!!

    I can already tell Whit is dreamy 🤣🤣🤣

    1. There’s definitely something odd about him! 💜

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