BOOK REVIEW: The River Wife by Heather Rose

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

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 of her life irrevocably alter as he trespasses further and further into her heart at a time when she questions her birthright. Tender and stunningly beautiful, The River Wife speaks of desire and love, mothers and daughters, kinship and care, sacrifice and wisdom. It is completely captivating

My Thoughts:

A strange, beautiful, lyrical book, set in modern-day Tasmania, about a woman who every night changes into the form of a fish. She does not understand where she came from or why she must change. She only knows she is a river wife and must sing the river’s songs, and that she is desperately lonely.


This book walks the shadowy borderland between fiction and fable, prose and poetry, myth and magic realism. It is a love story, an exploration of the importance of story to the making of self, a paean to the beauty and power of nature, and a warning of the dangers of not listening. Utterly haunting, exquisite, and unique.

You might also like to read my review of To The Bright Edge Of The World by Eowyn Ivey:

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Kate Forsyth
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