Black River

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Black River

By Melanie Tem

For Renata Burgess — wife, mother, social worker and writer — Friday, March 18, 1988, is just the start of a busy weekend. Her daughter’s going to a birthday party sleepover. Her elder son will be over for Sunday dinner, her nine-year-old boy clamoring to have a friend over. Just a normal Friday. Until 8:20 PM — when one of her children is found dead.

Wrenched by shock and grief into currents of reality of which she’s never previously been aware, Renata struggles to come to terms with her loss. A she learns to live day to day and moment to moment with the pain, she embarks on an eerie journey through an underworld inhabited by monstrous and seductive creatures that threaten both her sanity and her physical survival. She travels not only downwards but also backwards in time. Finding herself thrown into the lives of other mothers at the moment of their bereavement, Renata takes her first step towards healing — recognizing the fact that she is simply part of an infinite process…

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