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Big River, Little Fish Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
‘Some times you gotta trust life to hold you up, Little Fish’ (p.17).
Born ‘backwards’ at Big Bend on the Murray River in South Australia, Tom Downs’ fifteen years have been difficult. He has always found that things at school like reading and writing did not come easy. Yet it seemed natural to immerse himself in the wisdom of Old Mother Murray and he was happiest when caring for the vulnerable riverbank dwellers, feeding the neighbour’s lambs, helping his foster dad fix a car or tractor or riding a Harley. Yet the unanswered questions surrounding his mother Lil, who died giving Tom life, his father’s rejection and his adoption by Ted and Marge continually swirl around him. When the worst floods in a century threaten Swan Reach, Tom must come into his own.
Belinda Jeffreys uses different voices including those of Tom, his father Oliver, Ted his foster father and Murray, who found Tom as a baby, to weave an intricate plot with some surprising twists. Each character is depicted in rich detail and with great compassion. The pieces in the complex puzzle surrounding Tom’s life are skilfully brought together in the final pages.
While attending carefully to the historical events of the flood, Jeffreys also evokes its physical power and inevitability. The personal and physical devastation wrought by the flood are described with great sensitivity, and the image of the river as the lifeblood of the town and its people is - masterful.