River, Cross My Heart: A Novel
Title: River, Cross My Heart: A Novel
Author: Breena Clarke
After the drowning death of their daughter in the Potomac River, a family leaves their rural North Carolina world in search of a better life among friends and relatives in Georgetown, as they grapple with their loss and struggle to move forward.
A remarkable new writer makes her debut—with a novel of tragedy and triumph in the life of an African American family in Georgetown, circa 1925.
Eight-year-old Clara Bynum is dead, drowned in the Potomac River in the shadow of an apparently haunted rock outcropping known locally as the Three Sisters.
In scenes alive with emotional truth, River, Cross My Heart weighs the effect of Claras absence on the people she has left behind: her parents, Alice and Willie Bynum, torn between the old world of their rural North Carolina home and the new world of the city, to which they have moved in search of a better life for themselves and their children; the friends and relatives of the Bynum family in the Georgetown neighborhood they now call home; and, most especially, Claras sister, twelve-year-old Johnnie Mae, who must come to terms with the powerful and confused emotions sparked by her sisters death as she struggles to decide and discover the kind of woman she will become.
This highly accomplished first novel resonates with ideas, impassioned lyricism, and poignant historical detail as it captures an essential part of the African-American experience in our century.