The River Sings is a historical fiction novel written by Australian author Sandra Leigh Price. Once I had it in my hands, it was difficult to put down this breathtaking story.
The book is told in two perspectives — the first is Patrin, who grows up living the gypsy life, the second is her daughter Eglantine. As a teenager, Patrin falls in love with her cousin Amberline, much to her parents’ dismay. After a heartbreaking incident, Patrin flees to London with Amberline and their daughter Eglantine. Though she knows that she shouldn’t trust her husband, she joins him in London anyway for the sake of her daughter, where she lives a miserable life. In the present day, Eglantine is without her mother and lives with her father and housekeeper Makepeace in London. She longs for her mother and the memories of her are absent from her mind. She learns of her father's fraudulent way of obtaining money, and then becomes his apprentice, stealing money from unsuspecting victims. When her father is caught and ordered onto the next ship towards New South Wales, Eglantine must fend for herself.
The River Sings takes you on a journey through a range of emotions. The one which was the most prevalent for me was disgust and extreme disappointment for Amberline. The man had no respect for the people who made sacrifices for him. He treated people like the commodities he stole. He was so obsessed with all that shines, that he treated people close to him with little regard in the pursuit of wealth. Though I disliked his character, I loved his complexity and I thought that the author’s construction of him was excellent.
Sandra Leigh Price’s words are absolutely beautiful and I found myself lost in her stunning sentences and writing style. I also thought the use of the river was fantastic, and it felt like an integral part of the story. Everything connected back to the river, and its power was evident throughout the entire book. The river streams throughout the novel and it was the glue that held it all together.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The River Sings from cover-to-cover. The novel is a wonderful and astonishing tale of determination, survival and loss.
Release date: April 24th 2017 by HarperCollins AU