A dazzling debut author who draws on her own family history to deliver a powerful, moving and redemptive story of a mother’s desperate search to find her stolen children and her freedom. Only once she knows their stories can she rest. Only then can she finally find home. Set in 1834 you’ll be transported through the cane fields of Barbados to the forests of British Guiana and on to Trinidad.
About the book
Introducing a dazzling new voice with a story that draws on her own family history.
Powerful, moving and redemptive, River Sing Me Home tells of a mother’s desperate search to find her stolen children and her freedom.
We whisper the names of the ones we love like the words of a song. That was the taste of freedom to us, those names on our lips.
Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy. These are the names of her children. The five who survived, only to be sold to other plantations. The faces Rachel cannot forget.
It’s 1834, and the law says her people are now free. But for Rachel freedom means finding her children, even if the truth is more than she can bear. With fear snapping at her heels, Rachel keeps moving. From sunrise to sunset, through the cane fields of Barbados to the forests of British Guiana and on to Trinidad, to the dangerous river and the open sea.
Only once she knows their stories can she rest. Only then can she finally find home.
A note from the author..
“This is not a book about slavery – it is a book about what comes after it. It is a book about freedom. It is not afraid to confront the worst horrors of slavery and colonialism, but it is not just about the horrors. It is also about love.”
‘Magnificent and epic’ Frank Cottrell-Boyce
About the author
Eleanor Shearer is a mixed-race writer and the granddaughter of Windrush generation immigrants. She splits her time between London and Ramsgate 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. The inspiration for River Sing Me Home came to Eleanor after she discovered a tiny footnote in an exhibition she was attending about the Windrush. Mothers in slavery in the British colonies lived in constant fear of their children being sold. When the Slavery Abolition Act came in in the 1830s, it didn’t mean freedom, so many mothers went in search of their lost children.
2023 will mark 75 years since the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948, bringing 500 passengers from the Caribbean to Tilbury, Essex, a moment that shaped modern Britain.