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Limberlost

"Tied to its Tasmanian setting, this elementally beautiful novel takes readers on a reflective voyage through the life, losses and longings of a man of few words."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

As beautiful and unique as his previous novel Flames, Robbie Arnott’s Limberlost casts a haunting spell as it tells the coming-of-age tale of a Tasmanian teenager through to marriage, fatherhood, and old age. Bathed in the raw natural beauty of its setting, this tender tale of loss, love, longing and cycles of life seeps from the page into your soul.

From the opening pages, Arnott’s unique way with words (sensual, elemental, perfectly balanced) compels readers to slow down and reflect, with its protagonist being a quiet, laconic type. We first meet Ned as a boy who longs to own his own river boat. A boat that will give him some freedom from Limberlost, his family’s orchard farm. A farm that‘s haunted by the loss of Ned’s mother, and by the absence of his brothers, who are fighting in Singapore.

After trapping rabbits and selling their pelts, Ned realises his dream and buys a boat. When he strips away the old paint, he’s struck by the beauty of the wood: “In it, Ned saw gold, saw nature, saw heaven.” It made “a huge, red-sparking emotion flow through him.” This sensation exquisitely captures Ned’s character, and the author’s ability to conjure the burning essence of emotions.

As time passes and his brothers don’t return, Ned’s sister Maggie does come home, and his childhood friends remain constant, too – Jackbird, and his tough, smart sister Callie, who Ned marries and has children with. But turmoil comes in the wake of a brutal storm, forcing Ned to make a brutal decision.

Joanne Owen

Star Books
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