River Sing Me Home: Book summary and reviews of River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

River Sing Me Home

by Eleanor Shearer

River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer X
River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer
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Book Summary

Rare. Moving. Powerful. This beautiful, page-turning and redemptive story of a mother's gripping journey across the Caribbean to find her stolen children in the aftermath of slavery is a remarkable debut.

Her search begins with an ending.…

The master of the Providence plantation in Barbados gathers his slaves and announces the king has decreed an end to slavery. As of the following day, the Emancipation Act of 1834 will come into effect. The cries of joy fall silent when he announces that they are no longer his slaves; they are now his apprentices. No one can leave. They must work for him for another six years. Freedom is just another name for the life they have always lived. So Rachel runs.

Away from Providence, she begins a desperate search to find her children—the five who survived birth and were sold. Are any of them still alive? Rachel has to know. The grueling, dangerous journey takes her from Barbados then, by river, deep into the forest of British Guiana and finally across the sea to Trinidad. She is driven on by the certainty that a mother cannot be truly free without knowing what has become of her children, even if the answer is more than she can bear. These are the stories of Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy. But above all this is the story of Rachel and the extraordinary lengths to which a mother will go to find her children...and her freedom.

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Reviews

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This information about River Sing Me Home was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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WDH - Kentucky

Excellent Read
Really enjoyed this book. The writing is lyrical, the characters are full and the story evokes empathy, anger and great imagery. A few parts in the second half seemed a bit slow, but not enough to detract from the overall story. I did notice what seemed like some inconsistencies in speech patterns in a few places. I would recommend this book to friends and book groups.

Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)

A story that must be told
River Sing Me Home is a triumph of tragedy and hope. Joining Rachel's journey to find the family that she lost over many years of slavery was sometimes difficult but always with a glimmer of anticipation that she would be reunited with her loved ones. Eleanor Shearer's lyrical prose and story that is in need of being told to everyone touched my heart. We cannot allow this type of history to be repeated. Thank you Eleanor for keeping the hope alive that a better world is within our grasp.

Kristen H. (New Bern, NC)

Fortitude
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. It was a story of love of family and struggles. What one woman risked to find her children was incredibly brave. The author did a wonderful job bringing the story to life. Highly recommend.

Becky S. (Springfield, MO)

A mothers love
I really loved River Sing Me Home! My heart just felt for Rachel as she looked to find each one of her children that was torn away from her. The history of slavery in the Caribbean Islands was new to me, and I enjoyed learning more about that. Such a sad time in our worlds history, this book made me feel all the feels. Very few books can make me cry, but the last page of this one was a real tear jerker for me. Great character building in this one! I connected with almost everyone, but none more than Rachel.

Mary B. (St Paul, MN)

River Sing Me Home
River Sing Me Home is a beautifully written novel. Ms Shearer states in the Acknowledgements that the main character's story(Rachel) is inspired by a real person. It is the story of a mother who is a slave and her courageous, desperate, and heartbreaking attempt to find the children that were ripped from her by plantation owners. The events take place i the early 1800's. The story starts in Barbados and follows Rachel's journey to other parts of the Caribbean.
Ms Shearer's story telling paints a very vivid picture of the characters, the feelings, the settings, and history of the time period. This historical piece was not something I had read about in the past.
I would highly recommend this touching book.

ER (Vista, CA)

Powerful beyond words
This was one of the best books I have read in ages! Imagine a novel that grips your entire being both physically and emotionally throughout the story. Every aspect of this story was so well crafted, from the scenery (I was always there with the characters), to the credibility of the storyline, to the characters. I cannot find any fault but highly, highly recommend reading this story that takes place at the end of slavery in the Caribbean. This book shares strength of character, love, fear, determination but mostly, hope.

I can't wait to read this author in the future…what a marvelous debut!

...14 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Eleanor Shearer

Eleanor Shearer is a mixed-race writer and the granddaughter of Windrush generation immigrants. She splits her time between London and Ramsgate on the English coast so that she never has to go too long without seeing the sea. For her Master's degree in Politics at the University of Oxford, Eleanor studied the legacy of slavery and the case for reparations, and her fieldwork in St. Lucia and Barbados helped inspire her first novel.

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