Where the River Runs

Allen & Unwin
3
Free sample

Fleur McDonald has a wonderful way with telling rural stories in a special way ... A great summer read.' Samstillreading on Suddenly One Summer

Ten years ago, thirty-year-old Chelsea Taylor left the small country town of Barker and her family's property to rise to the top as a concert pianist. With talent, ambition and a determination to show them all at home, Chelsea thought she had it made.

Yet here she was, back in Barker, with her four-year-old daughter, Aria, readying herself to face her father, Tom. The father who'd shouted down the phone ten years ago never to come home again.

With an uneasy truce developing, Chelsea and Aria settle into the rhythm of life on the land with Tom and Cal, the farmhand, who seems already to have judged Chelsea badly. Until a shocking discovery is made on the riverbed and Detective Dave Burrows, the local copper, has to tear back generations of family stories to reveal the secrets of the past.

Chelsea just wants a relationship with her dad but will he ever want that too? Or will his memory lapses mean they'll never get that opportunity?

Praise for Fleur McDonald
'Drawing on her own experiences with rural Australia, Fleur has used these skills to weave a moving tale.' Highlife Magazine

'A rural novel of courage, family and survival ... McDonald weaves the varying threads together strongly.' Aussie Reviews
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4.3
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Additional Information

Publisher
Allen & Unwin
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Published on
Oct 24, 2018
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Pages
328
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ISBN
9781760637804
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

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From the international bestselling author of These Are the Names: “A brilliant exploration of the uneasy transition from adolescence into adulthood” (The Independent).
 
After a decade away, gifted young pianist Ludwig Unger returns to his hometown of Kings Ness, England, where the houses are on the verge of falling into the sea. With little else but a plastic bag filled with his mother’s ashes, Ludwig hopes to make amends with his lonely past and say goodbye to the familial ghosts that still haunt him.
 
Ludwig’s mother tried to create a normal life for him after his father abandoned them, but Ludwig grew up in her shadow, developing an obsession with her and her sensual allure. When he discovers her secret past as “the Grace Kelly of porn,” Ludwig’s world spins out of control. He soon finds himself homeless, shouldering the shame of his mother’s career, and embarking on a journey around the world in search of answers about his dysfunctional artistic family and the legacy they left behind.
 
“Beautifully lyrical storytelling under a banner of gray skies and heavy hearts.” —Dan Kennedy, host of The Moth storytelling podcast and author of Rock On
 
“Although perfectly charming as picaresque, the tragedy of Unger’s plight registers just as strongly as its understated oddness . . . Wieringa plays for keeps.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“[A] beautifully realized novel about a young man seeking to understand his difficult, eccentric parents.” —Library Journal
A captivating and deeply personal novel from one of Australia's most respected authors.

Athena and Dexter live a happy but insular life, bound by routine and the care of their young sons. When Elizabeth, an old friend from Dexter’s university days, turns up with her much younger sister, Vicki, and her lover, Philip, she brings an enticing world to their doorstep. And Athena finds herself straining at the confines of her life.

Helen Garner portrays her characters with a clear eye for their dreams, their insecurities and their deep humanity in this intimate and engaging short novel, which was first published in 1984. The Children’s Bach is ‘a jewel’, in Ben Lerner’s description, ‘beautiful, lapidary, rare’.

Helen Garner is one of Australia’s finest authors. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham–Campbell Prize for non-fiction. Her novels include Monkey Grip, The Children’s Bach, Cosmo Cosmolino and The Spare Room.

There was a piano in the kitchen and during the day Athena would shut herself in there under the portrait of Dexter’s father and pick away at Bartok’s Mikrokosmos or the easiest of Bach’s Small Preludes. Preludes to what? Even under her ignorant fingers those simple chords rang out like a shout of triumph, and she would run to stick her hot face out of the window.

‘Garner is a natural storyteller.’ James Wood, New Yorker

‘Her use of language is sublime.’ Scotsman

‘This is the power of Garner’s writing. She drills into experience and comes up with such clean, precise distillations of life, once you read them they enter into you. Successive generations of writers have felt the keen influence of her work and for this reason Garner has become part of us all.’ Australian

‘Garner wears her mastery lightly—the novel never draws undue attention to its own modernist tricks. Unfolding, as the title suggests, like a halting piece of music, its effects are subtle and unexpected.’ Harper’s

'What Garner offers in these novels is an alternative to the cloying metafiction of the late 20th century and the washed-out realism of the 21st. They are undeniably of their time – the 1970s commitment to the liberating possibilities of sex, drugs and communal living in Monkey Grip, the hangover nursed in the 1980s in The Children’s Bach – but they also belong to a literary epoch we think of as long gone, as they earnestly strive to resurrect a modernist art of estrangement.' London Review of Books

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