My River Sanctuary: author Bower draws on childhood in South Perth for inspiration


South Perth-born author Robin Bower. Picture: Jon Hewson
South Perth-born author Robin Bower. Picture: Jon Hewson

SOUTH Perth-born writer Robin Bower was inspired by her childhood growing up in the suburb for her latest book.

My River Sanctuary imagines if Chinese urban farms and gardens that were around South Perth in the 1880s to 1940s were still prevalent in modern times.

Woodvale resident Bower said her mother told her about the farms and gardens and this inspired her to write the book.

“We grew up near the zoo and the river was like our front yard; I’ve got wonderful memories of playing with local kids,” she said.

“I’ve always dabbled with writing. I’ve worked in publishing in Melbourne, I’ve worked as a freelancer and I’ve written about the diamond and jewellery industry for a trade magazine while living in Hong Kong.

“My first book Beyond Home was published in 2014 and my second book Sense of Paris was a collaboration celebrating Paris.”

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Bower said this book was inspired by her time in Hong Kong, which made her interested in Chinese culture.

“I was living there during the handover period and so there are historical references to that in the book,” she said.

“I always seem to gravitate back to my childhood and some of the characters reflect that.

“Kim is the main character. She is struggling to keep her farm profitable, and there is Jack who was the boy next door and her first love.”

Bower said she had learned a lot from publishing her first two books, which made it easier when it came to My River Sanctuary.

“At the moment I’m writing as many short stories into different competitions as I can and running my own blog, while also working full-time,” she said.

The book is available on Amazon.