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A River Divided

A River Divided is such an unusual story. If you were to compare it to films, it would be a cross between Indiana Jones, the Da Vinci code, The Clones, and a David Attenborough documentary. If you think this sounds bizarre then you have the right image. George Paxinos is a renowned Neuroscientist, who specializes in understanding different areas of the brain. He took twenty-one years to complete this, his first novel. There are many themes and ideas presented here for the reader to ponder over.

The main characters in the story are Evelyn, a geneticist and amateur archaeologist, and Michael, a gynaecologist, and her lover. The story is told in three parts. The couple are holidaying in Israel when Evelyn makes an extraordinary discovery. She and Michael remove some of the find and bring it home to Australia. Later, a son is born to Evelyn. He has an identical twin who was born in Brazil. Christopher is raised in Sydney in an affluent home, while his brother Jose is raised by a single woman who loves him dearly but struggles to make ends meet.

It is interesting to follow the development of these young men as they pursue their careers. Both are passionate, religious, and caring. When Christopher wins a job which takes him to Brazil, he cannot help but to encounter his identical brother as they both support diametrically opposed attitudes. Jose is desperate to save the Amazon Forest and Christian has joined a company who wish to expand logging there.

There is a discussion in which Jose suggests that humans have the wrong size brain. If it were larger then we would understand the value of nature, and if it were smaller, we wouldn’t have the technology to destroy it.

A River Divided is not a light read nor one to read as a sceptic. It is about “This generation creating the conditions for the extinction of its progeny”.

Author George Paxinos
Publisher Hardie Grant Media
ISBN 9780646846651
Distributor Hardie Grant Media
Released November 2021