It is 1919. The Great War has ended, but the Spanish flu epidemic is raging across Australia. Schools are closed, state borders are guarded by armed men, and train travel is severely restricted. There are rumours it is the end of the world. In the NSW town of Flint, Quinn Walker returns to the home he fled ten years earlier when he was accused of an unspeakable crime. Aware that his father and uncle would surely hang him, Quinn hides in the hills surrounding Flint. There, he meets the orphan Sadie Fox - a mysterious young girl who seems to know more about the crime than she should. A searing gothic novel of love, longing and justice, Bereft is about the suffering endured by those who go to war and those who are forever left behind.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
The story is engrossing. Dan Wyllie's timing and expressive telling brings every book I have heard him reading as alive as seeing a movie.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Bereft in three words, what would they be?
deep, wise and courageous
What other book might you compare Bereft to and why?
A little like Tim Winton's Breath as it takes you to the dark places of what it means to be alive.
What about Dan Wyllie’s performance did you like?
Dan Wyllie gives voices to the ordinary people, to the unpretentious raw Australian voice.
If you could rename Bereft, what would you call it?
Just a little alive
Any additional comments?
Chris Womersley has written a classic, the writing is luminous, it shimmers and sparkles as the narrative unfolds. Listen with patience and you will be rewarded
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would recommend the book with reservations. An interesting story of the return of a decorated soldier to his childhood home town in outback NSW uncertain as to whether he is returning for revenge or revelation. The tale has references to WW1 experiences and is based around family life in a country town in Australia. The implied contacts through a medium and the heroin seeming to have knowledge she could only obtain from a dead girl are passages that are unecessary and distract rather than advance the plot.
Would you recommend Bereft to your friends? Why or why not?
Would recommend the book with reservations. Those reservations are the need to have the ability to suspend belief to accept that messages are recieved from a dead person.
What three words best describe Dan Wyllie’s voice?
Very pleasant voice with expressive tones, especially in the passages where there was an element of mysticism.
Do you think Bereft needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No. Story is essentially the battle between good and evil. Good having won with the death of the embodiment of evil, there seems little to follow up. It is also a good way to finish a story, the main characters disappearing into the sunset, without it necessarily pointing to a sequal.
Any additional comments?
This is not a book for those who are sceptical about magic or messages from the dead!
I absolutely loved this book and Dan Wyllie's reading of it. Beautiful carefully crafted prose, and a gripping story with a lingering impact. I can't stop thinking about it, and I need to read a hard copy now so relish the language all over again, and work out some of the unresolved questions left at the end. One thing...Dan Wyllie was perfect for this but his pronunciation is sometimes grating. Dan, "wonder" is pronounced wunder not wander.