“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, Rhodesia 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?
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REVIEWS OF BETWEEN TWO RIVERS
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!
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
The author inhabits characters across the barriers of race, class, gender and religion as they interact with each other. ... I found her characters credible, illuminating a conflicted period of Zimbabwe’s social history. It is, in fact, the layered themes of Beattie’s writing that make her novel such an immersive read. ... Beattie explores our humanity in its beauty and brokenness through women’s voices. Fictional voices of the marginalised have been inserted in the recorded history of the country, not to create an alternative history but to add to its rich, multi-faceted texture.
Chiedza Musengezi, Zimbabwean author and poet: read the full review here
Beattie has captured and revealed a disturbing and shocking window into the crumbling disintegration of the life white Rhodesians had once taken for granted, believing they and it to be indestructible. ... Tina Beattie is a gifted writer with the ability to paint a vivid and lasting picture with her words. She has made a significant and important contribution to the recreation of the story of the last days of Rhodesia. It is an excellent and gripping read.
Pat Brickhill, Reviewer for Weaver Press, Zimbabwe: read the full review here
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
[I]t is my greatest pleasure to give this outstanding book 4 out of 4 stars. ... I recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, psychological prose, romance novels, and the genre of family drama. It would appeal to those interested in the themes of social injustice, women's rights, and the fight against racism.
Ellylion, reviewer at OnlineBookClub: read the full review here
This story is powerful. … Truly, this is the most important, meaningful, well-written, and emotionally satisfying book I have ever proofread, or that I have read in years.
Jessica Lucci, poet, novellist and proofreader