Friday Favorite – Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara


EXCERPT: As a little kid I knew I hadn’t grown under my foster mother’s heart like her two sons had. And I hadn’t grown inside it either like our sister who needed all the love she could get to survive a frail constitution and being unwillingly relinquished by her mother when she was a tiny baby. And I knew I wasn’t a daughter for the man I had to call my father to make it look like we were one big happy family. I knew this because memories and dreams came to me at times to remind me of people and places that had once been. And some were good memories with sunshine and smiles and gentle black hands, and I was at peace with these. Others were scary with sharp edges and angry faces and discordant sounds and they made me afraid. I spent a lot of my childhood afraid.

Then one day when I was twenty-eight years old the Past, where these memories and dreams stayed when they weren’t visiting me, turned up out of the blue without any warning. And everything changed.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A heartbreaking, darkly funny and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writer

Delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River by her two full-blood grandmothers, Marie Munkara was born with light skin which meant one thing – it would only be a matter of time before she would be taken by the authorities and given to a white family to be raised.

Then twenty-eight years later an old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of her life forever. It was a link to her past.

Knowing that she had to follow her heart or forever live to regret it Marie set out to find the family that she had lost, leaving her strict white Catholic parents aghast – why dig up the past?

With devastating honesty, humour and courage, the award-winning author of Every Secret Thing shares her extraordinary journey of discovery to find her origins.

MY THOUGHTS: There was nothing I didn’t like about Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara.

This memoir written by one of the ‘stolen generation’ is, and I quote, ‘A heartbreaking, darkly funny and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writer. It is also brutally honest about the aboriginal lifestyle – the drinking, the violence, the promiscuity, the disease that is rife amongst the communities.

But we also see the other side of these displaced people, their warmth, their generosity, their talent, their acceptance of things they cannot change. All this made me wonder if the violence is an inherited trait, or is it caused by the frustration of this nomadic people being ‘corralled up’ like livestock?

As a three year old, Marie is removed from her birth family and placed with a white strictly Catholic family in the city. She is beaten if she speaks in her native tongue, and for many other reasons.

Then at aged twenty-eight an old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of her life forever. It was a link to her past. And she takes herself off to find her birth family.

This book abounds with beautiful writing, especially when Marie is speaking of her mother’s death. ‘What a beautiful thing, to look at the world through eyes that have seen everything (they) are ever going to see and to be content with that….just to walk on this earth and know that you have been blessed with a life, to have an acceptance of what has been before and what’s to come.’

This is a wonderful book, a keeper for me, and one that I know I will read many times.
💕💕💕💕💕

THE AUTHOR: Of Rembarranga and Tiwi descent, Marie Munkara was delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River in Arnhemland by her two grandmothers and spent her early years on Bathurst Island. Her first novel, Every Secret Thing, won the David Unaipon Award in 2008 and the Northern Territory Book of the Year in 2010. She has written two children’s books, Rusty Brown and Rusty and Jojo, and another novel, A Most Peculiar Act. Marie is presently working on the TV mini-series for Every Secret Thing and her next novel.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House Australia via Netgalley for a digital ARC of Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1680220210

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

4 thoughts on “Friday Favorite – Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara”

  1. Definitely sounds like something I’d enjoy. And I have to say, I don’t feel like we get much exposure to books with Aboriginal characters in the US. Always looking to learn while reading (even if it’s fiction), or be exposed to experiences outside of my own purview. Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

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