After the Fire, A Still Small Voice

After the Fire, A Still Small Voice

Book - 2009
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Frank moves from Canberra to a shack on the east coast after the turbulent breakdown of his relationship. He wants to put his violent past and bad memories of his father behind him. In a small coastal community, he tries to retrain himself as someone who can have regular conversations and relations with other people. He even starts to make friends, including 8-year-old Sal and her carrot. But something dark watches him, a Creeping Jesus in the sugar cane. Leon is the child of European immigrants to Australia, living in Sydney. Leon's father loves Australia for becoming their home when their own country turned hostile during WWII. His mother is not so comforted by suburban life in a cake shop. As Leon grows up in the '50s, '60s and '70s, his parents are broken when his father volunteers to fight in the Korean War. Leon then goes from working in the shop, sculpting sugar dolls for the tops of wedding cakes, to killing young men as a conscripted machine-gunner in Vietnam. Back in Australia, in towns lost in the bush, Christian fundamentalism settles on a sleepy meat-eating, meat-farming community who chose to forget the legacy of war and the conflicts between people. In the fall-out from Vietnam, Leon thinks he might be able to make a new life with his woman, make a baby, live by the sea in a small shack. But something watches from the cold shade of the teeming bush...
Publisher: North Sydney, N.S.W. : Vintage, 2009.
ISBN: 9781741668636
Branch Call Number: FIC WYLD
Characteristics: 296 p. ; 24 cm.

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parismorning Dec 01, 2013

was shortlisted for
the Impac Prize, the Orange Award for New Writers a
nd the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and awarded
the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2011, she was nam
ed by the BBC as one of the twelve best new British
novelists and in 2013, she was named as one of Gran
ta's Best of Young British Novelists.

n
nicolenozick
Jul 03, 2013

Set in Australia. What was it about again? Really enjoyed reading it. Fresh, different, but what the hell was it about and I just finished it a week or so ago...

u
uncommonreader
May 27, 2013

Although this book is not badly written, it is very unsatisfying for the reader. The novel tells the parallel stories of a father and son. The father, himself the son of a refugee from WW II who volunteers to fight in the Korean War and is damaged by the experience, is conscripted to fight in Viet Nam which is an experience from which he only slowly recovers. The son is unhappy and neglected as a child and as an adult retreats to a shack in Eastern Australia to put his life back together. However, many of the events do not support the narrative and overall, the story is entirely predictable.

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