New Book: “River Sing Me Home”

Eleanor Shearer’s River Sing Me Home was published this month (January 2023) by Headline Publishing/Hachette in the UK and Penguin/Random House in the US. [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]  

Description: 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.

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.

For purchasing information, see https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/eleanor-shearer/river-sing-me-home/9781472291363 and https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/713326/river-sing-me-home-by-eleanor-shearer

See more about the author at https://www.eleanorshearer.com and https://www.instagram.com/eleanorbshearer

Also see Kirkus Reviews, https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/eleanor-shearer/river-sing-me-home and Andrew Keen, Literary Hub, https://lithub.com/eleanor-shearer-on-writing-a-post-slavery-west-indian-novel-celebrating-motherhood-and-resilience

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