Coal Creek by Alex Miller
'The new novel from Australia's highly acclaimed literary treasure is an extraordinarily powerful exploration of tragedy, betrayal, the true nature of friendship and the beauty of lasting love.
'Me and Ben had been mates since we was boys and if it come to it I knew I would have to be on his side.'
Miller's exquisite depictions of the country of the Queensland highlands form the background of this simply told but deeply significant novel of friendship, love, loyalty and the tragic consequences of misunderstanding and mistrust. Coal Creek is a wonderfully satisfying novel with a gratifying resolution. It carries all the wisdom and emotional depth we have come to expect from Miller's richly evocative novels.'
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was picked out for me by the local librarian when I was whinging about not being able to pick anything that appealed to me. It was handed over with the warning that some people find the language and style a little hard to get into - but this was far from the case for me.
This reads as a memoir with a unique style and rhythm - the rhythm of the man and the rhythm of the land. It is sparse and measured and has the ring of truth to it. The only disappointing thing about this book is coming back to yourself at the end of it and remembering that it is a work of fiction not an actual autobiography.
It isn't a light read but it isn't very demanding either. Beautifully written and carefully crafted by an author that I will seek out again.