The River Baptists is a subtle, evocative and engrossing story of secrets, lies and the weight of living with the past. A vivid second novel from Belinda Castles, it was awarded the Winner of the 2006 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award.
Rose is a new resident in a close-knit riverside community, living in a borrowed house, grieving for her dead father and awaiting the birth of her first child. Danny, another refugee from a life elsewhere, is hiding from his violent father and working hard to start a fresh, new life with his own property on the river. Joining them is a cast of river old-timers, who miss nothing and forget less but always protect their own, and a newcomer who cares nothing for the locals and their secrets. During the course of a long, hot and tense summer, when sparks constantly threaten to ignite bushfiress, tempers flare, confidences are betrayed and old grudges are renewed.
And through all the tension and emotions of these characters flows the mysterious pulse of the river - indifferent, deep and calm, offering the possibility of life an ddeath, renewal and birth.
Belinda Castles lived for a period on an island in the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, using this area as the basis for the fictional setting of The River Baptists. This is her second novel; the first was Falling Woman (Sceptre, 2000). When not writing, she works as an editor, and lives with her husband and daughter near Sydney. She has a Masters in Novel Writing from the University of Manchester.
The River Baptists
Allen & Unwin
Author: Belinda Castles