Avril Joy


​”​Me and the river and no one else seeing or listening. I catch its song at the edge of the day, rose light of dawn, blue light of dusk.​”

Aiyana’s voice chronicles her secret pursuit of literacy – her only means of escape from the abuse of her father and from the man to whom she is casually given. Her grandmother, an archetypal figure steeped in wisdom and folk lore and her brother Lyle are her only allies as she makes plans to leave the river she knows and loves.

An amazing, beautiful book with echoes of Eimear McBride. Avril Joy knows how to draw you into the story, right into the soul of the narrator. Aiyana’s voice is the voice of the river. I could have gone on listening to that song for ever.
— Kathleen Jones, author of A Passionate Sisterhood: The Sisters, Wives and Daughters of the Lake Poets

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About this book

Avril Joy is an award winning short story writer, novelist and occasional poet.

Born in Somerset, she grew up in the watery landscape of the Somerset Levels, the backdrop for her first novel, The Sweet Track.

Before settling in the north of England, she lived in East Anglia and London, both places which she still thinks of as home. She has travelled widely in India, Kashmir and Nepal.

Sometimes a River Song is her second novel.

ISBN: 978-0-9575968-0-1
Published: April 27th, 2016


“Original and beautiful. A tour de force. The narrator’s voice sings. I can almost hear the insects and the dip of the oars.”
— Sharon Griffiths, author of The Accidental Time Traveller and The Lost Guide to Life and Love​

“A great feat of literary imagination which evokes the life of fifteen year old Aiyana, a daughter of Arkansas, living on the great river which saves her people from the deprivation of the dust bowl in 1930s America. Her voice haunts us and her spirit warms us as she weaves her own survival into a cloth where the weft is her determination to unchain herself from her illiteracy. Avril Joy infuses this original novel with an ensemble of highly evolved characters who add to a realistic evocation of the complex river community. This beautifully written novel will enchant readers, young and old, across the world.”
— Wendy Robertson, author of The Long Journey Home, Writing at the Maison Bleue

“The power in the novel comes from its use of language. Joy has convincingly caught the diction of the poor whites at that time and uses it in Aiyana’s narration so effectively that the reader feels almost at one with her… In Sometimes a River Song, Avril Joy has produced a work of haunting beauty which celebrates the courage and resilience of the human spirit.”
— Jenny Gorrod, Dundee University Review of the Arts

“I felt, by the end, that I had been reading an epic tale, not a novel – rhythmic, mystical, poetic.”
— Alison Coles, BookOxygen

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