Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 35 minutes
First Published: 2023
At a Barbados plantation in 1834, the master gathers his slaves together and announces that they have all been emancipated. Now they are to be his apprentices instead of slaves, although they must now work for him for another six years. Instead, Rachel decides to leave, searching for her five children who were sold away.
With endearing characters and an interesting dive into Caribbean history, River Sing Me Home is exactly what you want from historical fiction. Thanks to Rachel’s search for her missing children, you get to see a gamut of outcomes for slave children sold away. Most importantly, River Sing Me Home is a reminder of the struggles Blacks dealt without even after the end of slavery, for oppression and racism don’t disappear overnight.
Her search begins with an ending.…
The master of the Providence plantation in Barbados gathers his slaves and announces the king has decreed an end to slavery. As of the following day, the Emancipation Act of 1834 will come into effect. The cries of joy fall silent when he announces that they are no longer his slaves; they are now his apprentices. No one can leave. They must work for him for another six years. Freedom is just another name for the life they have always lived. So Rachel runs.
Away from Providence, she begins a desperate search to find her children—the five who survived birth and were sold. Are any of them still alive? Rachel has to know. The grueling, dangerous journey takes her from Barbados then, by river, deep into the forest of British Guiana and finally across the sea to Trinidad. She is driven on by the certainty that a mother cannot be truly free without knowing what has become of her children, even if the answer is more than she can bear. These are the stories of Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy. But above all this is the story of Rachel and the extraordinary lengths to which a mother will go to find her children…and her freedom.
About Eleanor Shearer
Eleanor Shearer is a mixed-race writer and the granddaughter of Windrush generation immigrants. She is the author of River Sing Me Home. Shearer currently lives in London and Ramsgate. Visit the author’s website →