‘There are books you encounter as an adult that you wish you could press into the hands of your younger self. Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray is one of those books – a novel that turns Australia’s long-mythologised settler history into a raw and resilient heartsong.' – Guardian
The powerful Murrumbidgee River surges through town leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can just as easily take it away.
Wagadhaany is one of the lucky ones. She survives. But is her life now better than the fate she escaped? Forced to move away from her miyagan, she walks through each day with no trace of dance in her step, her broken heart forever calling her back home to Gundagai.
When she meets Wiradyuri stockman Yindyamarra, Wagadhaany’s heart slowly begins to heal. But still, she dreams of a better life, away from the degradation of being owned. She longs to set out along the river of her ancestors, in search of lost family and country. Can she find the courage to defy the White man’s law? And if she does, will it bring hope ... or heartache?
Set on timeless Wiradyuri country, where the life-giving waters of the rivers can make or break dreams, and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams) is an epic story of love, loss and belonging.
Praise for Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams)
‘Engrossing and wonderful storytelling. I really loved these strong, brave Wiradyuri characters.’ – Melissa Lucashenko, author of Too Much Lip
‘A powerful story of family, place and belonging.’ – Kate Grenville, author of A Room Made of Leaves
‘A remarkable story of courage and a love of country ... Anita Heiss writes with heart and energy on every page.’ – Tony Birch, author of The White Girl
'It is a love story, a story of loss, a hopeful story. The river is a guide, but you have to be open to its spiritual lessons.' – Terri Janke
‘Anita Heiss is at the height of her storytelling powers in this inspiring, heart-breaking, profound tale.’ – Larissa Behrendt, filmmaker and author
'The novel flows like the great Murrumbidgee River itself, with powerful undercurrents that sweep the reader along - I feel it's a book that all Australians should read, to try and understand why our colonial past still causes so much pain and grievance.’ – Kate Forsyth, author of The Blue Rose