Indie Award shortlist: Fiction: Bereft by Chris Womersley

I finished this book a while ago, but I’ve been going over it in my mind before I sat down to write a review of it, and I’m still feeling inadequate about doing the book justice.  It is a moody, atmospheric almost gothic tale of death, grief, love and redemption.  I could keep piling on the adjectives, but I hope you get the idea. It is a richly rewarding tale about a young man who was accused of murdering his beloved sister and ran away to escape unjust punishment. After a few years of itinerant jobs he served in the army and then returned home to try and set right what was done. He meets a young girl who is escaping a different set of problems and together they make each other braver, whilst being protective of the other. The setting is Australian country and it’s harsh and unforgiving.  I hope I’m not making it sound too grim, and it certainly has it’s moments of grimness, but you will be enthralled to the end.

Bereft has been shortlisted in the fiction category of the Indie Award for 2011.  The winner will be awarded on March 14th.  There is stiff competition, but this is definately worthy of being on the list.

Paperback, $32.95

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