Born by the River: The true story of a young girl growing up along the Mississippi River during the summer of 1963

Written by Jenness Clark

In the 1960s, twelve-year-old Jenness Clark leaves the troubles of her homelife for her great-grandfather’s farm across the Mississippi River…only to be rocked by more clashing turbulence.

Born by the River is Clark’s account of her nine-month trip around the river to visit extended family, all connected by marriage but markedly different in culture, class, and traditions—circumstances certain to provoke discord. A coming-of-age story set in a time and place deeply divided, Clark’s memoir explores her family’s past, referencing the area’s history from 1820 to 1964. The region acts as a conflicted backdrop, threatening the hopes, the dreams, and the American way of life for the author’s family.

Alternating in viewpoint between the reflections of the adult Clark as she looks back on life and her stirring impressions during the time of her river journey, Born by the River is an inspirational memoir lifted from family destruction and the prejudices of a socially divided region.


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