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Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea [Read] ➭ Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea ➵ Marie Munkara – Buyprobolan50.co.uk A heartbreaking darkly funny and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writerDelivered on the banks of the Mainoru River by her two full blood grandmothers Marie Munkara was born with light A heartbreaking darkly funny and Rivers MOBI ó and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writerDelivered on the banks of the Mainoru River by her two full blood grandmothers Marie Munkara was born with light skin which meant one thing it would only be a matter of time before she would be taken by the authorities and given to a white family to be raised Then twenty eight years later an old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of her life forever It was a link to her past Knowing that she Of Ashes Kindle - had to follow her heart or forever live to regret it Marie set out to find the family that she had lost leaving her strict white Catholic parents aghast why dig up the pastWith devastating honesty humour and courage the award winning author of Every Secret Thing shares her extraordinary journey of discovery to find her origins.


10 thoughts on “Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea

  1. Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* says:

    EXCERPT As a little kid I knew I hadn't grown under my foster mother’s heart like her two sons had And I hadn't grown inside it either like our sister who needed all the love she could get to survive a frail constitution and being unwillingly relinuished by her mother when she was a tiny baby And I knew I wasn't a daughter for the man I had to call my father to make it look like we were one big happy family I knew this because memories and dreams came to me at times to remind me of people and places that had once been And some were good memories with sunshine and smiles and gentle black hands and I was at peace with these Others were scary with sharp edges and angry faces and discordant sounds and they made me afraid I spent a lot of my childhood afraid Then one day when I was twenty eight years old the Past where these memories and dreams stayed when they weren't visiting me turned up out of the blue without any warning And everything changed ABOUT THIS BOOK A heartbreaking darkly funny and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writerDelivered on the banks of the Mainoru River by her two full blood grandmothers Marie Munkara was born with light skin which meant one thing it would only be a matter of time before she would be taken by the authorities and given to a white family to be raised Then twenty eight years later an old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of her life forever It was a link to her past Knowing that she had to follow her heart or forever live to regret it Marie set out to find the family that she had lost leaving her strict white Catholic parents aghast why dig up the past?With devastating honesty humour and courage the award winning author of Every Secret Thing shares her extraordinary journey of discovery to find her originsMY THOUGHTS There was nothing I didn't like about Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie MunkaraThis memoir written by one of the 'stolen generation' is and I uote ' A heartbreaking darkly funny and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writer It is also brutally honest about the aboriginal lifestyle the drinking the violence the promiscuity the disease that is rife amongst the communitiesBut we also see the other side of these displaced people their warmth their generosity their talent their acceptance of things they cannot change All this made me wonder if the violence is an inherited trait or is it caused by the frustration of this nomadic people being 'corralled up' like livestock?As a three year old Marie is removed from her birth family and placed with a white strictly Catholic family in the city She is beaten if she speaks in her native tongue and for many other reasonsThen at aged twenty eight an old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of her life forever It was a link to her past And she takes herself off to find her birth familyThis book abounds with beautiful writing especially when Marie is speaking of her mother's death 'What a beautiful thing to look at the world through eyes that have seen everything they are ever going to see and to be content with thatjust to walk on this earth and know that you have been blessed with a life to have an acceptance of what has been before and what's to come'This is a wonderful book a keeper for me and one that I know I will read many times💕💕💕💕💕THE AUTHOR Of Rembarranga and Tiwi descent Marie Munkara was delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River in Arnhemland by her two grandmothers and spent her early years on Bathurst Island Her first novel Every Secret Thing won the David Unaipon Award in 2008 and the Northern Territory Book of the Year in 2010 She has written two children's books Rusty Brown and Rusty and Jojo and another novel A Most Peculiar Act Marie is presently working on the TV mini series for Every Secret Thing and her next novelDISCLOSURE Thank you to Random House Australia via Netgalley for a digital ARC of Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara for review All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions Please refer to my Goodreadscom profile page or the about page on sandysbookadaywordpresscom for an explanation of my rating system This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookadaywordpresscom


  2. Calzean Calzean says:

    For a while I thought I was reading a novel such was the tale being told The I read the engrossed I was with Munkara's memoirThe book surprisingly starts with a lot of humour as the 28 year old author returns to her family in the Tiwi Islands after an absence of 25 years She had been taken from her mother by Catholic Missionaries at the age of three and given to a foster family On her return she struggles with the lifestyle in the Tiwi Islands and her various adventures are described in a very honest manner cynical at times but which slowly turns to respect and loveThen in Part 2 she relates her experiences in foster care where she lived with an abusive womanmother and a pedophile father What shines in this memoir is Munkara's positive attitude don't feel sorry for yourself look forward experience things be yourself The story of her own birth and the death of her real mother are especial highlights in this excellent insight into one family affected by the Stolen Generation as well as the respect of Aborigines with their land forebears and families It is a beautiful hopeful story of admirable Aboriginal women


  3. Morgan Blanch Morgan Blanch says:

    I don’t often read memoirs Actually I never read memoirs And it’s not for any other reason than they’re just not a genre I typically like to read So when I was assigned this novel for my Australian writing course at uni I was wary I thought it would be pretty dry and factual and that it would be something I’d have to push myself to get throughI was instead pleasantly surprised Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea hereby referred to as OARRS was surprisingly accessible Of course it deals with a very real and serious topic being that Marie is a child of the Stolen Generation However despite knowing that this was a work of non fiction it read as easily as a fiction novelI really enjoyed Marie’s journey in learning about her heritage Marie grew up in a white Australian household for most of her life and so she experiences the contrasting emotions between her two walks of life Returning to her biological family is by no means an easy task for her – going from the bustling city of Melbourne to the forgotten world of northern Australia It was both entertaining and heartbreaking to experience Marie’s struggle to reconcile both halves of herselfAs a reader it’s very hard to forget the fact that everything that occurs within OARRS actually happened I mentioned before that this read like fiction and while that’s true there are points in the story that are uite confronting and that remind you pretty uickly that this isn’t fiction for a lot of indigenous Australians There’s definitely triggers here for sexual physical and verbal abuseOverall OARSS was a fantastic read Insightful and honest it sheds new light on the struggle of indigenous Australians still affected by the conseuences of the Stolen Generations I would encourage everyone to read this Outside of a brief education in primary school for me at least the Stolen Generations aren’t talked about and they should be Reading this book is a good step towards understanding


  4. Michael Livingston Michael Livingston says:

    Marie's story is fascinating stolen from her family as a toddler and raised by terrible white parents she returns to the Tiwi islands in the late 80s and reconnects with her homeland It's often hilarious but with a deep sadness underpinning it all The writing is functional and often predictable on a sentence by sentence level but the book is full of surprises


  5. Claire Claire says:

    An interesting read I learnt a lot during this journey It was very thought provoking to see how Marie dealt with meeting her family again as an adult after 25 years of living in 'white man's' world and how she coped with living in such a different environment in order to reunite with them


  6. Kelly Skinner Kelly Skinner says:

    Interesting to read about Marie's life experience and reflect on Australia's history present and future


  7. Cass Moriarty Cass Moriarty says:

    If you are looking for another book to add to your knowledge and understanding about Indigenous Australians then Marie Munkara's newly released memoir Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea is certainly an eye opening perspective Marie was delivered into the world by her two grandmothers on the banks of the Mainoru River Because of her light skin at three years of age she was taken by authorities and placed with a 'respectable white family' thousands of kilometres away strict Catholics with dark and abusive natures When she is 28 Marie sets out to northern Australia to find the birth family she never knew she had her mother and a whole clan of relatives But whatever she expected a joyful reunion? the return of the prodigal child? what she got was not it This is a frank and raw depiction of the completely different world with which she is confronted communities living in dire poverty with no access to many of the basics we take for granted The shift is confusing and frustrating She is surrounded by fighting dogs and family members who drink too much There is no fresh food available at the community's only store There are no beds no clean toilets often no working showers She doesn't remember the language and is distressed by the hunting parties which kill local animals It is all very different than she imagined But while wading her way through these cultural differences she finds many other positive aspects to her family's way of life their kinship ties their loyalty and support of each other their bush skills the native food they hunt and gather with intimate knowledge their perseverance their dignity their pride and their stoicism And perhaps most importantly Marie discovers how much she was loved as a child and how saddened her family was to lose her This is not your usual Aboriginal memoir it does not depict either culture black or white Australians in a particularly good light but rather is honest and brutally blunt with a good dose of humour to take the edge off It provides an excellent depiction of the difficulties involved in attempting to cross the cultural divide and is yet another necessary written record of the mistakes of our past


  8. Janine Janine says:

    One of the Stolen Generation Marie Munkara’s book takes us into the heart of it because the author is one of those stolen children Born on the banks of the Mainoru River in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory she was taken from her mother at three years of age Her white foster father sexually abused her for years and her white foster mother was bitter and harsh Nothing was said about her birth family although her religious family did meet with other families who had likewise adopted Aboriginal children under the aegis of the Catholic Church Twenty eight years later she found a baptismal certificate and after some enuiries she found out that her mother was still alive and that she had siblings at Nguiu on Bathurst Island Within weeks she was aboard a plane to meet her family If you've read Munkara's Every Secret Thing my review here you'll recognize the humour in this book with it's 'up yours' insouciance Many of the book's small chapters are short vignettes where Munkara tells of meeting family members nights at the alcohol sodden club house hunting trips and bush bashing in completely unroadworthy cars Much of the time the humour is at her own expenseDespite the raucous auntys and cousins surrounding her in her black family and the sterile figures in her white family this is a lonely journey with higher emotional stakes than say Sally Morgan in My Place Its authenticity transcends its unsophisticated prose and structure I haven’t read a book uite like itSee my complete review at


  9. Andrew Andrew says:

    I learnt about Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea from Emma's excellent review on Book Around the Corner It's a very moving memoir by a woman Marie Munkara who was taken from her Aboriginal family in northern Australia at the age of 3 and placed with a white foster family in MelbourneMunkara was one of thousands of members of the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children taken from their homes by the Australian government or church missions According to Wikipedia Official government estimates are that in certain regions between one in ten and one in three indigenous Australian children were forcibly taken from their families and communities between 1910 and 1970This brutal policy was so common especially with lighter skinned children who could be easily assimilated into White Australia that Munkara's family considered throwing her to the crocodiles at birthIt was better that we die in our own piece of country than be taken by the authorities and lost to our families foreverAlthough the rhetoric around this state sponsored child trafficking was about giving kids a better chance in life it doesn't work out that way for Marie Munkara Her foster mother is cold critical and angry and her new father is a paedophile who abuses her regularly throughout her childhood She knows nothing about her true origins until at the age of 28 she discovers her baptismal card slipped inside a book and begins to track down her Aboriginal family in a small township on Bathurst Island on the other side of AustraliaRead the full review at


  10. Veronica Veronica says:

    This is a beautiful devastating book That ending just wow I'm grateful and awed that Marie has chosen to share her story with such rawness generosity and pathos Still while I felt I learnt so much often alongside Marie as she reunited with her family and culture after 25 years I was also left with many unanswered uestions and parts of her experience I would have loved to know about I also wish the book had had a stronger line edit The punctuation was frankly all over the place and often absent which made for a distracting reading experience I feel like a bit of a dick picking that out for criticism but it really did affect my overall impression of the book and I was surprised to find this issue in a Vintage book But don't let that be your main takeaway This is a powerful memoir well worth reading


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