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ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472291387

Price: £8.99

ON SALE: 19th January 2023

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

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Inspired by extraordinary true events, River Sing Me Home is a soaring story of courage and sacrifice, and a testament to the remarkable tenacity of hope.

– Soon to be adapted as a feature film by AL Films and BBC Film.
– Prima magazine’s Books of the Year 2023.
– A Good Morning America Book Club Pick.

‘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 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. Beautiful’ 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


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
Jessica Moor
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
Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author
A triumph of tragedy and hope
Goodreads Reviewer
An extraordinary odyssey of pain, love, and homecoming . . . RIVER SING ME HOME is a haunting and powerful debut
Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye
Early readers of RIVER SING ME HOME are evangelical about this story . . . Full of love and compassion, this will be everywhere next year
Epic and lyrical, a story about love and the power it brings us
Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Lyrical, heartbreaking, thought-provoking . . . A book about love, motherhood and survival that will stay with you long after you've finished it'
Costanza Casati
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
A cracking debut
Belfast Telegraph
A powerful, gripping and poetic novel about the strength of a mother's love
Sarra Manning, Red
A strong and beautiful novel that stares into the face of brutality and the heart of love
Jeanette Winterson
A powerful novel that explores how freedom and family are truly defined
Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Personal Librarian
An extraordinary tale of fearlessness, passion, motherly love and hope
NetGalley Reviewer
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!
Chanel Cleeton
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
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
Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Riviera House
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
Stacey Thomas
Lyrical, heart-wrenching and so well crafted
Goodreads Reviewer
RIVER SING ME HOME is a masterclass in how to speak of unspeakable things. A beautiful read
Meg Clothier
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
Chikodili Emelumadu
Such a glorious and compelling story
The beautifully written depiction of a mother longing for her children makes this transcendent
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The most moving, beautiful, heart-breaking yet hopeful book I've read this year.
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
Hugely profound, hopeful and emotive this is written in lyrical prose that demonstrates Shearer's mastery of language
Action-packed, emotionally demanding, richly described, the novel paints an extraordinary portrait of motherly love and hope . . . a thoroughly compelling read
Daily Mail
An intense and absorbing debut
The Times
River Sing Me Home is a fine testament to the women who inspired this debut
The Sunday Times
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
Cherie Jones, Women's Prize for Fiction shortlisted author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House