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River Woman

by Donna Hemans

This is a book to make you cry, with its story of broken promises and loss. It's a book about the bond between mother and child, love and the loss of love. The community and its river are brought powerfully alive through the lyrical beauty of the writing. Sad, but not to be missed.

Extract

These young women watched the river and secretly gloated because once again something tragic had happened to the girl who had gone off to boarding school and whose mother regularly sent barrels from America. The first tragic thing had been Kelithe's early pregnancy. The baby brought Kelithe back to their level. They no longer viewed her as the girl who had passed the Common Entrance Exam, gone to high school and come back talking and acting differently, but the girl who had come back from boarding school six months pregnant, a girl like themselves who sat back and waited for something good to come. They wanted the tragic thing involving Kelithe to be justice for the drowned child, because no woman, no mother had a right to do what they said Kelithe had done. The desire to leave, they could forgive. But a mother forgetting her duty to her child - that they could not forgive.

Parallels

Beloved by Toni Morrison
Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
 

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