About the Book:
Cynthia was just about to turn sixteen when the unthinkable happened. Her mother was taken away by the police, and her father left without a word three months later. After that night, Cynthia began to walk in slow circles outside the family home looking for traces of her sister Mallory – she’s sure that she must be somewhere else now, wherever that is.
Cynthia knows that she doesn’t belong here. Her mother never belonged here either. This is the place of violence. Despair. The long dry. Blood caked under the nails. Desperate men. Long silences. The place where mothers go mad in locked bedrooms, where women like Cynthia imagine better futures.
As a threatening wind begins to dry-whirl around her, seldom seen black clouds form above, roll over the golden-brown land – is that Mallory she can hear in the growling mass? In the harsh drought-stricken landscape of outback Queensland a woman can be lost in so many ways. The question is, will Cynthia be one of them?
Published by Hachette Australia
Released 26th January 2022
I did not get along well with this novel. While I appreciate the intent of this story and I also applaud the author for the boldness of it, the brutality and rage was relentless and I found the story so entirely devoid of hope, bleak to the point of desolation. It was a tough read.
The author has a unique writing style, a very different way of structuring her sentences. I think I might be a little too old school to appreciate such a break in convention. I found the technique distracting and chaotic, but perhaps that’s the point?
There are quite detailed and vivid scenes of animal cruelty throughout this novel, specifically taking place within an abattoir. There are also many scenes of sexual violence against women that are graphic and disturbing. This novel is not for everyone.
Why did I continue to read it when there were all of the above-mentioned factors pushing me to stop? It was eerily compelling and tragically familiar after having lived in the outback for 9 years. Sometimes it’s beneficial to sit outside of your comfort zone for the duration – even if it is a tough sit. Important themes prop up this story, issues pertinent to our society and the never ending cycles of violence and desperation that perpetuates from generation to generation.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.