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The River Where Blood Is Born

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


This astonishing novel takes us on a journey along the river of one family's history, carving a course across two centuries and three continents, from ancient Africa into today's America. Here, through the lives of Mother Africa's many daughters, we come to understand the real meaning of roots: the captive Proud Mary, who has been savagely punished for refusing to relinquish her child to slavery; Earlene, who witnesses her father's murder at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan; Big Momma, a modern-day matriarch who can make a woman of a girl; proud and sassy Cinnamon Brown, whose wild abandon hides a bitter loss; and smart, ambitious Alma, who is torn between the love of a man and the song of her soul.

In The River Where Blood Is Born, the seen and unseen worlds are seamlessly joined--the spirit realms where the great river goddess and ancestor mothers watch over the lives of their descendants, both the living and those not yet born. Stringing beads of destiny, they work to lead one daughter back to her source. But what must Alma sacrifice to honor the River Mother's call?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 01, 1997 – The historical Caribbean and Africa come to life in this cleverly constructed but somewhat overwritten tale. And so do contemporary Chicago, London, Montreal, rural North Carolina and Illinois as Jackson-Opoku invents a lineage of African daughters who scatter like seeds in the wind, spanning the Old and New Worlds and almost three centuries. Even afterlife in the Great Beyond is rendered, as ancestors worry over their earthly daughters and try, sometimes in vain, to guide their loved ones toward the correct path. Strange twists of fate and spooky coincidences tie twigs and branches of the family tree together in a decidedly nonlinear fashion, while heavily symbolic leitmotifs tend to weigh down the narrative. Each woman is inexplicably drawn to water, in one or another form: rivers, oceans, mother's milk; and blood, sweat and tears. Textiles (Kente cloth, needlepoint, crazy quilts and beadwork) are another source of narrative coherence. Overseeing all, like the novelist herself, is Ananse the spider, master storyteller of African lore. It is through his observations as "the world's greatest watcher, the one overlooked in corners" that we learn the fates of generations of women. BOMC alternate and QPB featured selections; author tour. FYI: Inspired by a trip to Africa in 1975, Jackson-Opoku spent the next two decades working on this novel.

Customer Reviews

I love. Thank you

This was my first favorite book and it's still my favorite. This book delivered me from much pain and confusion and into believing in myself. Thank you Sandra Jackson-Opoku

The River Where Blood Is Born
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: African American
  • Published: Aug 18, 1998
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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