The River Wife

Heather Rose

The River Wife
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The River Wife

Heather Rose

‘This is the story of a river and the keeping of magic 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 other would say that any story of love was the same . One day love laid down by the river. It slept in a blue patterned shirt and through the afternoon, though I watched, it did not stir but dreamed with the river and when it woke it saw me. Love was not the pattern of leaves and the texture of bark, it was not the underbelly of river or the way of fish, though all that was here was part of it and has gone on beyond it. Love was the passing of the sky across a face, it was the arc of conversation, the yearning to go on and never look back, the desire to be something other than I was . I never thought to ask what belonging was, nor how I might be free of it, until I loved Wilson James.’ The River Wife is a simple and subtle fable of love. It tells the story of the river wife - part human, part fish - whose duty is to tend the river, but instead falls in love with a man. Tender and melancholy, it speaks of desire and love, mothers and daughters, kinship and care, duty and sacrifice, water and wisdom. There is a great sternness and sadness here, coupled with gentleness. A love story, a fable, a retelling of the Orpheus myth, The River Wife is grave, tender and otherworldly - a true original.

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