Between Two Rivers
by Tina Beattie
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Pub Date 04 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 24 Mar 2022
“Rhodesia is sleep-walking towards its devastating civil war. Three women become entangled in that war and in relationships that harbour the seeds of tragedy. With great sensitivity and insight, Tina Beattie tells a haunting story of love and war that will long linger in the mind.” (Kay Powell, author of Then a Wind Blew).
“Msasa trees provided dappled shade for Jenny’s tea party. April sunshine dribbled through the leaves onto suntanned arms. The frangipanis were in bloom ...”
This is the scene that greets Scottish doctor Morag soon after her arrival in Salisbury in the 1950s. Jenny is an English wife and mother trapped in an increasingly violent marriage and secretly in love with another man. Soon, Beatrice will come to work as Jenny’s maid and nanny to her children. Over the next twenty years these three women will form deep bonds of affection, but can their loyalty to one another survive as the façade of white suburban life is shattered by war?
Jenny finds it increasingly difficult to hide her desire for the man she loves, but what will happen if her husband finds out? Why does the ancestral spirit of Beatrice’s grandmother come back to haunt her, and what terrible revelation will she make to drive Beatrice into the abyss of madness and beyond? Why will Morag flee through the night from an event so horrifying that it will traumatise her for the rest of her life, and why must she forever hide the truth of what she has witnessed?
“A compelling and captivating read. The story is a fascinating weave of black and white characters. I loved it despite scenes that deeply disturbed me, having been through those times. Tina Beattie has captured an essence of the time with precise and knowledgeable detail.” (Angus Shaw, Zimbabwean writer and war correspondent)
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 7 members
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Between Two Rivers is written really well by Tina Beattie, which is set in Africa between the 1950's and 1970's, when there is a war going on.
The story details the difference between cultures as well as the black and white races, both of which I was quite shocked with.
On a personal level, I really felt for Jenny, I was very frustrated with the way her husband treated her, then she would make out that it was her own fault or make a story up in her head. Even one of her children, Sean was a spy for his Dad.
I loved the free spirit and the morals which Morag had too.
The book is very descriptive, but sometimes I felt like there was African terminology which wasn't explained as well as it could have been. That said however, the descriptive way of the writing, I could actually picture myself there.
I would definitely recommend this book.
Intriguing book - very emotional read, with great characters! Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
What a moving story! The first book for me to read by this author but definitely not my last. The story and characters will stay with you long after you finish this. Cannot recommend enough!
This was a really interesting and emotive read. It was well written with a compelling and sometimes heart-wrenching storyline that was fiull of vivid descriptions and rich imagery that made me feel like I was there with them and characters that were well developed and some of whom I took to my heart.The story itself has obviously been well researched and shows the differences between both the blavk and white cultures in South Africa which although I know about it still shocked me.
I would recommend reading this book, I really enjoyed it.
A very emotional read, full of well developed and dynamic characters and a heart-wrenching storyline. One of those books that will stay with you after you finish it.
This is a profoundly beautiful story set against a backdrop of turbulence and murder. The author perfectly captures the sights, sounds and smells of Rhodesia during the final years of white minority rule. Into this troubled land comes Morag, a young Scottish doctor appalled at the way the black Africans are treated. When she meets Benedict, a young Catholic priest with beliefs and secrets beyond his faith, the seeds of tragedy are sown. But this is also a novel about love and hope and friendship beyond the barriers of race and colour. This is an outstanding novel, deserving wide readership.