ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Written as a series of interlinked stories, this finely-woven book is from a writer to watch! Mount Barker, up behind Adelaide, is changing from rural idyll to suburbia. Over the course of the novel, this metamorphosis is intricately plotted and shown through the lives of its residents. It starts with the death of the daughter of the richest inhabitants of the town, and then follows the try-hards and failed workers, the people with dreams slowly eroded by life and lack of opportunity, the fearful, the luckless and the pushed-too-fars. The prose is lucid and compelling, restrained and thoughtful,with moments of beauty and revelation and always great empathy. A brilliant debut. Lindy Jones
Everybody thinks they know this story. But do they really?
If you took a bird’s-eye view of Mount Barker, you’d see ordinary Australians living on their ordinary suburban blocks in an ordinary regional town. Get closer. Peer through a window. You might see Nathan Long, obsessively recording the incessant bark of a neighbourhood dog, or the Wheeler family sitting down for a meal and trying to come to terms with a shocking discovery. If you listen, you may hear tales of fathers and their wayward sons, of widows who can’t forgive themselves, of children longed for and lost, of thwarted lust and of pure, incorruptible love. Within the shadows is an unspeakable crime.
Rebekah Clarkson has created a compelling, slow-burning portrait of a town in the midst of major change as it makes the painful transformation from rural idyll to aspirational suburbia. What looked like redemption is now profound loss. What seemed spiteful can now be forgiven.