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Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea - Marie Munkara

Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea

Paperback Published: 2nd May 2016
ISBN: 9780857987273
Number Of Pages: 288

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Heartbreaking, darkly funny and deeply moving, Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea is a fearless account of being a young woman caught between two worlds.

An old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of 28-year-old Marie Munkara's life forever. Until that moment she had no idea of her true origins in Arnhem Land.

Delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River by her two grandmothers, Marie was fortunate not to have been thrown to the crocodiles, a fate reserved for babies born in her family with light skin. Knowing the child would be taken by the authorities, this matter-of-fact practice was considered much kinder for the babies and their families as it would save all from the heartbreak of separation and an unknown future for the child.

But her grandmother Nellie had other ideas because she knew this one was 'special'. And so after the unexpected but welcome reprieve, Marie and her mother ended up on the Tiwi Islands before Marie was then taken and placed with a white family to be raised in Adelaide.

After her chance finding of the baptismal card Marie went looking for her own family, leaving her strict Catholic establishment family aghast. Why dig up the past? But Marie knew without a doubt that she had to follow her heart or forever live to regret it.

With devastating honesty, humour and courage, the award-winning author of Every Secret Thing shares her extraordinary journey of discovery to find her origins.

About 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 novel.

Loved this book. It was a great holiday read..


I purchased this book to take on holidays with me. I loved it . It was very honestly written ...a little confronting...and so enjoyable...my husband who doesn't usually enjoy biographies read It in 2 days...a first for him...it will stay in my collection of loved books.

Brisbane Australia


Borrowed from the library. Compelled to buy my own copy.


A student in my year 12 English class is using it as her related text for Discovery. She told me I have to read it. Thankyou Lilly.




5.0 2


ISBN: 9780857987273
ISBN-10: 0857987275
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 2nd May 2016
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.37
Edition Number: 1

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