Shannon Bolithoe : A Writing Life

Until the Rivers Run Still – Sample Chapters


Racism, radio and the legacy of war. 

Beginning with a family historian’s search for a lost relative, Until the Rivers Run Still recounts a tragic love story set in the world of radio in Sydney of the 1950’s.

Growing up in Australia during the mid-twentieth century, Lucy King is a Chinese orphan who knows what it is like to be rejected because of her difference. Throughout her life, she has tried to fit in and overcome the narrow prejudices of the time. Disappointed in love and still unmarried in her late 20’s, she starts a new job in a radio station and decides to move out of her parent’s home into a boarding house where she meets an unusual group of characters presided over by the boarding house owner Mrs Carstairs.

She meets and falls deeply in love with Jo Smith, a radio broadcaster and fellow boarder. Jo is a shy older man who leads a solitary life, with only his books for company. Lucy tries to break through his reserve and, despite his efforts to rebuff her, they become good friends. But friendship will never be enough for her.

Jo is touched by Lucy’s beauty and the gentle understanding she shows towards him, despite his outwardly unfriendly disposition. However, he is haunted by memories of his service on the Western Front in WWI, and his mental and physical injuries, and the secret he has learnt to hide from the world. Jo believes he has nothing to offer a woman and fights against his growing love for Lucy. She yearns for the chance to love him, if only he will let her. Jo has an accident and they are brought closer together when she witnesses the accident and cares for him during his convalescence.

Their feelings for each other are revealed during a house break-in when Lucy runs to Jo for protection. She discovers his secret but refuses to allow it to separate them. 

Can she convince him to love and trust her? Can she make him believe that despite his past experiences, they can be happy together?

Click here to purchase the book on Kindle

Prologue – The Present

Chapter 1 – May 1950

Chapter 2 – June 1950

Chapter 3 – June 1950

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