Stunning, deeply-moving, affecting, and filled with hope! Eleanor Shearer’s debut novel is a testament to mother’s love, a redemptive story!
River Sing Me Home is a sprawling debut novel set during the 1834s that takes us to Barbados, British Guiana (now Guyana) and Trinidad and Tobago. The book opens with Rachel, an enslaved mother, running away from Providence plantation in Barbados. The Emancipation Act of 1834 was announced and declares they are no longer enslaved, but the slave master has other plans for them. Rachel decides she will never be free, unless she runs. Rachel wants to find her five children who were taken from her in the most gruesome way.
By some miracle, Rachel makes finds safety, and is taken to the capital city of Barbados to search for her children. She has no clue where they are, if they are still in Barbados but she is resolved to find all of her five children. Will she find them? Will she find them alive? Will she die trying to find them? Will they remember her? All of these questions plays out in Rachel head as she goes from Barbados, to the deep interior of British Guiana, and finally, sailing to Trinidad and Tobago. Will she find her five children?
Written with so much heart, the author did an amazing job of taking us into what is like to be a mother who had five of her children ripped away. I think what I enjoyed most was how Rachel traverse the Caribbean in search of her children. The bravery displayed all for love, really left me feeling hopeful.
In the Author’s note Shearer said her “aim in writing this novel was to bring to life a story about the Caribbean in the aftermath of slavery.” I think the author walked a very fine line in making a topic that is so oppressive, hopeful, she gave us a protagonist we could cheer for, cry with and who will remain with us for a long time.
This is a 2023 Read Caribbean release, keep it on your radar!