The River Charm

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A family in 19th-century Australia must fight to protect everything they hold dear—based on a true story

Could I be anything I want to be? What do I want to be? Maybe just . . . brave?

Could the ghost girl Millie has painted be her own ancestor? The river pebble charm has an astonishing story to tell . . . In 1839, Charlotte Atkinson lives on a grand estate with her mamma and her sisters and brother. But after her father dies, things go terribly wrong—murderous convicts, marauding bushrangers, and a cruel new stepfather. The family flees on horseback to a hut in the wilderness. They must fight to save their property, their independence, and even their right to stay together. Will they ever return to their beautiful home? Based on the incredible true-life battles of Belinda Murrell’s own ancestors, the Atkinsons of Oldbury.


Belinda Murrell has worked as a travel journalist, technical writer, editor, and public relations consultant. Her work has appeared in the Sun Herald, Sunday Telegraph, and Sydney Morning Herald. She is the author of the Lulu Bell series and the Sun Sword fantasy trilogy, as well as The Forgotten Pearl, The Ivory Rose, and The Locket Of Dreams.


"A beautifully described story of courage."  —"A wonderfully engaging historical fiction novel . . . The River Charm captures the simplicity, beauty and incredible hardship of life in Australia in the mid 1800s . . . I love the way Belinda makes history come alive by weaving factual settings and events into such engaging and lively stories."  —Susan Whelan,