What the River Washed Away

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Arletta is just eight years old when it starts.

Left abandoned for long periods in the isolated cabin she shares with her mother, she is ‘easy pickings’ for the two white men who regularly sneak out past the end of the road to abuse her.

But even in the stifling fear and segregation of the Deep South in the early years of the twentieth century, and after many years of suffering, she finds the strength to fight back.

Arletta rebuilds her life, in the face of racist adversity and during the rise of the civil rights movement, until many years later she hears about another little girl left for dead by the side of the road.

Arletta plots a terrible revenge that will shake the foundations of Louisiana society.

Arletta’s story is a delicate portrayal of racism and abuse, both harrowing and funny, but ultimately uplifting.  WHAT THE RIVER WASHED AWAY is Muriel Mharie Macleod’s first novel.


“A spellbinding novel”
Marlon James, author of The Book of Night Women

“Stunning… a heart-wrenching tale that speaks to you long after the last page is turned”
Maureen Lindley, author of The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel

“An inspiring story which will haunt you long after you have read the final pages”
New Internationalist