The River Wife is an adult fairy tale about rivers, time and the mystery of love. A book that delves into the nature of story itself, language, landscape and the limitations of a human life. Wilson James, a once successful author, arrives at a house deep in the remote central highlands of Tasmania intending to write his next novel. There he meets a woman who mystifies him and all he has held to be true about the world begins to unravel. What would we give up for the person we love?
The River Wife holds stories within stories and they are all woven together with a compassionate and unique hand.
One of the loveliest books you’ll read this year.
A most unusual book. A grown-up fairy tale told in exquisite language. Story-telling at its best.
From the first pages of The River Wife, the reader is struck by the beauty of the prose. There is a fluid brook-like quality to the writing. (A celebration of) the beauty of nature and the enduring power of story.
From Ovid to Kafka to Hans Anderson, tales of metamorphosis continue to offer writers a rich resource and a classic form of storytelling. Yet few Australians have chosen to write fables that take shape-changing as their central theme. The River Wife tells her story in intimate, seductive prose. A love story must engage readers and persuade them to believe as well. And this one does. The emotions are unfalteringly subtle and persuasive.
A cool and luscious fable of love … (with) all the hallmarks of the great love stories – passionate and tantalising, elegiac and profound. …there are echoes of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales, Anna Livia Plurabelle from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, and even Murray Bail’s Eucalyptus. Replete with sensuous, evocative language.