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The River Wife

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This is the story of a river and the making of water and the nature of love. Some would say that any story of water is always a story of magic, and others would say any story of love was the same …’

The River Wife is a simple and subtle story of love. The river wife—part human, part fish—has a duty to tend the river, but instead falls in love with a man. The age-old rhythms
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published 2009 by allen&unwin
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Definitely a 5 out of 5. A combination of Magic Realism and new fairytale. This is a naive read with deep insight. It asks the reader to be other than a rational adult but to step out in a world between dream and reality. It maps a path of life, the ebb and flow of season and daily events, and the need to know who we are and where we come from.
Oct 05, 2009 Larissa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
A young girl grows up in the forest, all alone but for her father, who is always at her side. When she was quite young her mother left her, why she did not know. As a woman her husband leaves her, again she can not say why. The only thing she is sure of is the river and her duty to it. For she is not of our world, she is a river wife.

By day she walks the earth as a woman, weaving the stories of the river, by night she sheds her human skin for scales, swimming the rivers with only the moon for co
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The river wife is a woman by day and a fish by night. She has a duty to tend the river. When she falls in love a man named Wilson James, the balance of nature is upset and she must do what she can to save the one she loves.

The title, cover and blurb lured me in with promises of gentle magic. But then I read the first sentence...

“As the sun crests the dark line of the land, I wake and step from the river, and that in itself is what is called magic.”

...and had to put the book down. It was a bit to
Poppy Gee
This story reads like poetry and is a really beautiful tale. It reminds me a bit of Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child, which similarly blends the magical with realism, and also Mr Wigg, by Inga Simpson. I admire the braveness of the writing in all three of these: it's a tricky thing to successfully suspend the reader's imagination when a novel is not grounded in conventional literary ideas.
A spell-binding story, wonderfully crafted. It's probably not everyone's cup of tea, being an unusual and original mythical story but I found it beautiful & entrancing. The descriptions are so evocative of Tasmania's Lake St Claire area with a dash of added extra magic.
Jill Porter
Depressing, dark, hard hard life! But it was one of those books that you just had to finish. Hard but grateful for life.
Cath Ralston
Simply the most beautiful book I have ever read.
i'd like to give this an extra half star -- somewhere between 'i liked it' and 'i really liked it'. stronger in the second half than in the first, beautifully sad at the end, it still strayed sometimes into twee, lists that went on a little too long; it felt somehow like something unfinished. i found the illustration intrusive, coming as it did, seemingly at random. i want to like it more than i do; i like it less than i feel i ought.
I bought this book while in Tasmania for a school camp, found it in a small book store in the middle of nowhere and somehow feel in love with it straight away, but... it wasn’t as good as what i hoped for or expected. It wasn’t something that made me turn pages, but still was overall interesting to read :)
Michele Harrod
This is a mystical but beautifully written novel about love, life, and nature. At first I thought it was rather strange, but then I found myself wrapped up in the exquisitely lyrical language, and was then quite absorbed. Gorgeous.
Angela Long
Beautifully crafted. Although a little confusing in the first few pages, the novel flows like the river it embraces. The imagery and language are both soft and reminiscent of a time long gone. A wonderful fable for adults.
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Heather was first published at 16 in the Hobart Mercury when she won the Junior Division of the Tasmanian Short Story competition. At 17 she had a regular sailing column.

After leaving Tasmania at 19, Heather spent two years living and working in Asia and Europe before returning to Australia and settling in Melbourne where she slipped into the world of advertising as a copywriter creating major nat
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