Gloria, living with her mother in a Kingston tenement yard, wins a scholarship to one of Jamaicaís best girlsí 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 novelís 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 Gloriaís relationships with her mother, grandmother and the girls she has always known in her grandmotherís rural village, with Rachel, their neighbour in the yard who is Gloriaís rock of understanding, and, at the heart of the novel, with Annie, the purest and indivisible love of her adolescent years.
"I LOVE The Riverís Song! It was so hard to put it down! Gloriaís 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 Riverís Song is a song weíve all heard before, but never with such force and clarity as this."
This book is part of the Jamaica book bundle Ė five outstanding Jamaican works of fiction for only £40, and postage is free to anywhere in the world.
The Riverís Song,
Stories From Yard,
A Permanent Freedom
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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.