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The River's Song

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781845230388

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Gloria, living with her mother in a Kingston tenement yard, wins a scholarship to one of Jamaica’s best girls’ schools. She is the engaging narrator of the at first alienating and then transforming experiences of an education that in time takes her away from her mother, friends and the island; of her consciousness of bodily change and sexual awakening; of her growth of adult awareness of a Jamaica of class division, endemic violence and the new spectre of HIV-AIDS.

The novel’s strengths lie in the pace, economy and shapeliness of its page-turning narrative; in its poetic descriptions of urban and rural Jamaica; and above all in the quality of its characterisation and the dramatisation of Gloria’s relationships with her mother, grandmother and the girls she has always known in her grandmother’s rural village, with Rachel, their neighbour in the yard who is Gloria’s rock of understanding, and, at the heart of the novel, with Annie, the purest and indivisible love of her adolescent years.

"I LOVE The River’s Song! It was so hard to put it down! Gloria’s coming-of-age story is warm and true and bittersweet. Hers is no wide bridge over the river but a rocky path to womanhood, to friendships made and lost and to the knowledge that love also requires navigation. The River’s Song is a song we’ve all heard before, but never with such force and clarity as this."
Olive Senior

Jacqueline Bishop was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She now lives and works in New York City, the 15th parish of Jamaica. The River's Song is her first novel.
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