From the winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the 2013 Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award comes Lucy Treloar's new novel.
Some things collapse slow and cannot always be rebuilt, and even if a thing can be remade it will never be as it was.
In 1855 Salt Creek lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including 15-year-old Hester Finch. Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can, with the few travellers who pass along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed.
Over the years that pass, an Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family. Stanton's attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people's homes and livelihoods and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri's subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?
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If You Liked "Poisonwood" You'll Like "Salt Creek"
Mesmerizing Australian story; breathtaking narration
enthralling, satisfying, tenderhearted
The desperate, stormy night when a woman in childbirth was transported by rowboat from her remote coastal homestead to the nearest source of help.
Amazing diction, lovely voice, excellent sound engineering too. This is the first time I've listened to an audiobook read by this narrator but I will be looking for others. Ms. Birve read each word with respect and feeling. She captured the gentle, intelligent personality of the main character and the troubled Victorian soul of the family perfectly.
I was so transported by this book that I was often surprised to look around and find myself somewhere other than the South Australian coast. I missed exits. I skipped meals. An otherworldly experience.