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Publisher's Summary

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert.

The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. But most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.

©2015 Charlotte Wood (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"One hell of a novel by one of our most original and provocative writers." (The Weekend Australian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Liz
  • 01-06-17

Great story. .unexpected and intriguing

a story that draws you in and keeps you listening. highly recommended. disturbing and intriguing exploration of the essence of humanity, and the relationships between men and women, power and surrender, friendship and sex

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Donna
  • 12-25-16

Brilliant

The well crafted story in this powerful book is riverting. It is fiercely unflinching in describing the the extraordinary circumstances that bring out the best and worst of human nature. It is wise and compassionate as well as gritty and visceral. The adaptation and resilience of some of the characters is astonishing. Charlotte Wood's descriptive style is brilliant. The narration by Ailsa Piper is flawless, engaging and intelligent. Thoroughly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacinta Leppik
  • 10-01-17

Brown trout?

A bag of moisturizers? A bus to nowhere? Brown trout? Terrible ending I couldn't believe the storyline amounted to nothing in the end. Just another account of violence against women.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-17

What did I just read??

Still trying to figure out just what the point of this book was and what on earth was going through the authors mind. This book is seriously weird and disturbing. I can see there are those of you who have high praise for this book but I just don't understand your sentiment. I only stayed till the end because I was expecting a big twist which would help me make sense of it but I was very disappointed.

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  • Miss Lizzy
  • 05-11-17

Best book I've read in ages.

There was nothing predictable about this book, the characters didn't behave as I would have liked them to but that's what made it a great book.

It made me think about female strength and male weekness.

I would definitely recommend this book.

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  • Ariane
  • 02-25-17

Seriously weird

One of the weirdest stories I've ever "read". I couldn't really relate to the characters, the highly praised friendship felt superficial to me. Lots didn't make sense in the storyline overall... Maybe I just didn't find the connection to it, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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  • Dr Deb
  • 08-17-16

Is it just me?

Pretty awful book. Read in monotone. Strange story that is never fully explained. Ridiculous premise. Enjoy!

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  • Rochelle
  • 08-01-16

Remember to breathe - this book is exquisite!

What have you done Charlotte Wood? You have made Golding’s Lord of the Flies for this century and you have made it so very thrilling and real.

Verla wakes from a drugged sleep. She doesn’t know where she is, nor why she’s there. Another woman is thrust into the room - Yolanda. Verla and Yolanda are two of ten women who find themselves in the middle of the desert. Their heads are soon shaved and they are clothed in coarse, modest but completely impractical skirts, shirts and bonnets that act as blinders.

The dread begins from the first scenes and Wood never lets up. The girls are always on guard, and so are we.

The women are jailed in a compound in outback Australia, surrounded by an electric fence powerful enough to kill. Their jailers are a brutal, coarse idiot, and a stoner hippie. They are joined by Nancy the “nurse” who has no medical qualifications nor even a basic knowledge of first aid.

One evening the electricity at the compound goes off. The food begins to run out. Things were already bad and they are about to get worse.

There is nothing about this book that is predictable. Wood keeps us guessing and second guessing at every turn. It is exquisite, the sort of book where you need to remind yourself to breathe. Do not be fooled by the beautiful cover of the book. Wood’s story is ugly, ugly, ugly. It is the very worst of ourselves.

The book won the 2016 Stella Award (Australia’s top award for Women’s Literature) and is shortlisted for Australia’s most prestigious award, the Miles Franklin Award.

Alisa Piper gives the characters a powerful Aussie twang, perfectly suited to the women (and men) Wood has written. Piper draws you in quickly and performs the voices of each character superbly.

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  • Dr
  • 07-22-16

Depressing!

Recommended for our book club but I found this book really depressing, repetitive and doesn't go anywhere. Waste of 5 hrs!

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  • Rodney Fielding
  • 06-28-16

Dismal and unconvincing

My headline says it. Ailsa Piper's reading was superb, far better than this book deserved.