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All 5 Star Reviews:
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Rachel cannot imagine a life away from ‘Binda’, her home in the bush, where the Macquarie River flows alongside her back door. Her childhood days are spent with her neighbour and biracial best friend, Darel: exploring and learning about the Australian bush and the Wiradjuri (aboriginal) culture, through the teachings of his part-aboriginal mother. At their favourite meeting place, the dividing fence between the two properties, they share all their secrets, including what Darel has told Rachel about his mother’s experience as one of the Stolen Generation.
Meanwhile, Rachel’s mother, Mary Winton, looks to the future and will go to any length to separate her only daughter from an ‘unsuitable’ relationship. Rachel is sent to boarding school, and a few years later the family home is sold to Darel’s parents, the Rutherfords. Rachel struggles to come to terms with losing Binda and her best friend, but later, when Darel re-enters her life with a woman by his side, she finally decides she must let go of the past, once and for all. However, could what she thought to be her greatest loss, actually be to key to finding her greatest joy?
Most Recent Amazon Reviews:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Engaging, enchanting and characters well-drawn.
March 14, 2015 - Greg Miller
I used to consider myself as a person with a good sense of direction, someone you could blindfold, take for a drive and dump off somewhere, and I’d find my way home. I do think if I went for a “walkabout” in the Australian bush, you’d never see me again. In many different ways, it is “other worldly.”
When I started reading Jan Reid’s new book, “Deep Water Tears,” I had those vibes of a lost world and was quite unsure where my place, even from just a reader’s perspective, would be in it. By the time I finished, I did feel a bit like I was at home.
Part of that could be the very special place I had growing up—my grandfather’s farm. He owned 44 acres on the bend of a roaring creek, filled with a myriad of places enchanting to an 11-year-old. In my childhood there were many occasions, especially during the summer, when I and my siblings were taken there and left to roam for hours. It was a kid’s personal Disney World, one to make Tom Sawyer jealous. Then, when I was about 12, my grandfather sold the farm.
My cousins and I experienced an extreme loss of “place,” not unlike the main characters of Ms. Reid’s story. Into her story, she weaves the importance of place being an emotional anchor. And, in the process, I think I learned much of the reason for people’s attraction to the Australian bush. Now I’ll have to push Australia up on my bucket list.
The characters are well drawn and kept from being cliches by their interesting connections to each other. Additionally, the personalities of the two main characters draw on their love and interaction with the place they spent their childhood, drawing many personal parallels to my upbringing. The birds, sounds, smells, weather may have been exotic compared to rural Pennsylvania but their effect on the characters was universal. The book brought back memories and I found myself comparing they very specific descriptions to my own memories growing up, and it was an enchanting effect. American audiences will be charmed by the Aussie dialogue and the accent fairly jumps off the page. In many ways, the Australia of this book sounds like the lush parts of Texas. I need more time to get lost in both of those places because Ms. Reid makes Australia sound like so much fun.
Ms. Reid’s storytelling leaves you wanting more and even though you understand at the beginning that this is the beginning of a series, at a point near the ending you know that you want to know more about a particular character and then you are rewarded for not peeking ahead by finding they are the subject of the next book—and I was delighted.
5.0 out of 5 stars
A touching and often poignant story.
February 23, 2015 By Christine Ramsay
This is a beautifully written and well researched book detailing the lives of Darel and Rachel who, though from very different backgrounds, develop a close and lasting friendship, growing up in harmony with the plants and animals in the rugged terrain of the Australian bush. Rachel is intrigued by the dreamtime stories Darel relates to her which his mother has passed on to him and when they are forced to live their lives apart because of the ignorance of the community she desperately holds on to the stories and the memories of those happy childhood days in the hope that one day she will return.
A very interesting, touching and often poignant story which I highly recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars
A compelling story.
February 21, 2015 By Peter Quinton
A story of coming to age in the Australian bush with a difference. Jan tells the beautiful story of two Australian children, Rachel and Darel growing up in a rural Australia still beset by ignorance and rumor. The story is told against a backdrop of Wiradjuri dream time stories, demonstrating how the stories persist as oral recollection to modern time and how they act as a touchstone of strength and power.
The characters are real and compelling - the localities well researched and remembered.
I recommend this story to those just interested in a good yarn or those wanting a little more - an honest look at our recent history.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Pulls you into the story like a magnet.
February 28, 2015 By Larry W. Fish
From the very first page, Deep Water Tears, pulls you into the story like a magnet. It is one of those love stories that makes you want to keep reading, wanting to know what is going to happen next. Will a mother succeed in keeping two people apart because she doesn't approve? The love for each other started at an early age and even though they were kept apart for years, their love would never fade. Jan Reid did an excellent job in telling a story of a never ending romance. She is a writer that we will be hearing more of.
Tags: Australia, Historical, Indigenous Australian, Romance, Rural.
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