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River Sing Me Home

On sale

3rd August 2023

Price: £8.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472291400

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Inspired by true historical events in the Caribbean, River Sing Me Home will break your heart and then lift you up. A soaring story of courage and sacrifice, this novel reminds us of the remarkable strength of hope. A Good Morning America Book Club Pick. Soon to be adapted as a feature film by AL Films and BBC Film.

‘Every once in a while, a book comes along that is so assured and so powerful you can’t believe it’s a debut…. Eleanor Shearer is a remarkable writer and she brings this story of a mother’s courage to the page with compassion and tenderness’ Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author

‘I was riveted by Rachel’s story. Like the River of its title, this novel sings. A beautiful debut’ Cherie Jones, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for Fiction

‘A searing debut full of love and loss… Heartbreaking, hopeful, and unforgettable… this is the kind of book that will stay with readers for years to come’ Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author


Rachel is searching for her children. For Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy. These are the five who were sold to other plantations; the faces she cannot forget. It is 1834, and the law says her people are now free. But for Rachel freedom means finding her children.

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, then on to Trinidad, up the dangerous river and to the open sea. Only once she knows their stories can she rest. Only then can she finally find home…


‘A top contender for my book of the year. I beg you to read it⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

Powerful . . . certainly my best read of the year’ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

‘An astounding debut’ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

‘One of the most incredibly moving books I have ever read that will stay with me for a long time⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

‘Incredibly moving’ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

I adored this novel’ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review


Meg Clothier
RIVER SING ME HOME is a masterclass in how to speak of unspeakable things. A beautiful read
Jeanette Winterson
A strong and beautiful novel that stares into the face of brutality and the heart of love
Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Epic and lyrical, a story about love and the power it brings us
Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Riviera House
Every once in a while, a book comes along that is so assured and so powerful you can't believe it's a debut novel. RIVER SING ME HOME is just such a book . . . Eleanor Shearer is a remarkable writer and she brings this story of a mother's courage to the page with compassion, tenderness and pitch-perfect prose
Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye
An extraordinary odyssey of pain, love, and homecoming . . . RIVER SING ME HOME is a haunting and powerful debut
Jessica Moor
A powerful story, beautifully told. Shearer skilfully depicts the cruelty of the British slave trade, contrasted with one mother's indomitable love for her children, and her burning will to live. An empathic, elegantly rendered and deeply humane novel
Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author
A searing debut full of love, loss, and the shadows of the past . . . Heartbreaking, hopeful, and unforgettable. Both a powerful ode to the endless depths of a mother's love and an important meditation on what freedom really means, this is the kind of book that will stay with readers for years to come
Chanel Cleeton
An extraordinary and gripping debut. Rachel's love for her children resonates through each page as she fights for her freedom and theirs. A must-read!
Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Personal Librarian
A powerful novel that explores how freedom and family are truly defined
Chikodili Emelumadu
RIVER SING ME HOME slices you open . . . and knits you back up again. A powerful account of love, loss, defiance and the lengths to which a mother will go in order to make herself and her family whole again. Breathtaking
Costanza Casati
Lyrical, heartbreaking, thought-provoking . . . A book about love, motherhood and survival that will stay with you long after you've finished it'
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The beautifully written depiction of a mother longing for her children makes this transcendent
Goodreads Reviewer
Lyrical, heart-wrenching and so well crafted
Goodreads Reviewer
A triumph of tragedy and hope
NetGalley Reviewer
An extraordinary tale of fearlessness, passion, motherly love and hope
Goodreads Reviewer
This debut novel does exactly what I want historic fiction to do - teach me something while telling me a good story
Goodreads Reviewer
The most moving, beautiful, heart-breaking yet hopeful book I've read this year.
Stacey Thomas
I absolutely loved this book and Eleanor Shearer's lyrical prose kept me gripped as the story moved from Barbados to Demerara and Trinidad . . . a beautifully written debut
Early readers of RIVER SING ME HOME are evangelical about this story . . . Full of love and compassion, this will be everywhere next year
Sarra Manning, Red
A powerful, gripping and poetic novel about the strength of a mother's love
Such a glorious and compelling story
An immersive debut . . . the heart of the novel lies in its celebration of motherhood and female resilience. A tender exploration of one woman's courage in the face of unbelievable cruelty
Belfast Telegraph
A cracking debut
Propulsive . . . This compelling premise of a mother in search of her children powers a moving and dynamic novel. The pacing is swift, and Shearer writes in clear, energetic prose. There is an accessibility to the language that is refreshing; it buoys the narrative, giving us intimate access to a complex period in history
Hugely profound, hopeful and emotive this is written in lyrical prose that demonstrates Shearer's mastery of language
Daily Mail
Action-packed, emotionally demanding, richly described, the novel paints an extraordinary portrait of motherly love and hope . . . a thoroughly compelling read
The Times
An intense and absorbing debut
The Sunday Times
River Sing Me Home is a fine testament to the women who inspired this debut
Cherie Jones, Women's Prize for Fiction shortlisted author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House
A novel which explored, with courage, care and capability, the illusory nature of freedom at a critical point in West Indian history. I was riveted by Rachel's story and it is a testament to Eleanor's craft that I felt every fraught element of Rachel's journey to finding her children right along with her. Like the River of its title, this novel sings . . . a beautiful debut