Along the Waterways

Dreamtime Mysteries

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
332 Pages
Reviewed on 08/25/2019
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Author Biography

Being a creative person, I have always preferred ‘home-made’ over retail goods, whether home grown produce, culinery recipes, fashion-design and assembly, or home-health remedies. After reading all my favourite author’s books: Geoffrey Archer, Ken Follet, etc; I decided to create my own historical fiction stories.
As a venue, the only country I could relate to was Australia as my birth-place. However, our ancient history involves the First Peoples, recorded by historians as the Koories. Their descendants have no recorded written history, while their Dreamtime is sacred to their territorial custodians. Therefore, it was necessary for me to embark on considerable research and ensure I was politically correct, when creating a pre-European fictional journal of life as it may have been, in a bygone era.
I decided to introduce Rex Graham, a part-Aboriginal anthropology student, plus a sacred heritage tree; a collection of home-made art-work, encoded with Rex's ancestral Dreamtime mysteries. When the youth fell asleep under the tree, his Alice in Wonderland dreams inspired my imagination to run wild. I breathed life into the home grown characters, filling them with courage, wisdom and character, as they journeyed through adventurous and romantic Dreamtime histories. The stories are interwoven within a time-circle trilogy of three novels: Native Companions, Along the Waterways and soon to be released Return to Eternity.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

If you enjoy historical fiction inspired by the myths and legends of indigenous people, Along the Waterways, book two of the Dreamtime Mysteries trilogy by Jenni Barnett is for you. Although a sequel, it stands on its own. Set in Australia, it follows two timelines: modern-day Rex Graham, a twenty-year-old mixed-race university student, and the stories about his Aboriginal grandmother’s people. Barnett makes clear that these aren’t a retelling of traditional myths or legends but her own creation, though inspired by her respect for and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. The narrative is divided into seven “books” accompanied by illustrations. Story characters and their family and clan relationships are identified at the start of each book. A glossary of language and an index of character names is also provided at the end.

In Along the Waterways, Barnett gives us a fascinating collection of stories about an intriguing people. The cast of characters can seem daunting at first, but as you make your way through the tales, just as some of them make their ways along the rivers, the characters become real and relatable. It’s as if you’ve popped back in time to the Australian bush before the arrival of Europeans and are watching the panoply of human interactions at tribal, clan, and personal levels. Adventurous journeys, heroic characters, challenges, power struggles, first romances, births and deaths, sadness and joy fill the pages against a backdrop of cultural traditions, a spiritual integration with nature, and an orderly culture with defined roles. Secrets are revealed and Rex will encounter the meaning and purpose of his life. Highly recommended.

Bob O'Hara

Do you have a screenplay for this? Great story by the way!

Kathy Sanchez

I got the Native Companions book during the LA TIMES book event this year. Of course, given free by the author itself, The book is magical and amazing. Looking forward to read Along the Waterways. Are you gonna be in Miami this November? Me and my family will be there. Hoping to meet you again.