Everybody thinks they know this story. But do they really?
If you took a bird’s-eye view of Mount Barker, you’d see ordinary Australians living on their ordinary suburban blocks in an ordinary regional town. Get closer. Peer through a window. You might see Nathan Long, obsessively recording the incessant bark of a neighbourhood dog, or the Wheeler family sitting down for a meal and trying to come to terms with a shocking discovery. If you listen, you may hear tales of fathers and their wayward sons, of widows who can’t forgive themselves, of children longed for and lost, of thwarted lust and of pure, incorruptible love. Within the shadows is an unspeakable crime.
Rebekah Clarkson has created a compelling, slow-burning portrait of a town in the midst of major change as it makes the painful transformation from rural idyll to aspirational suburbia. What looked like redemption is now profound loss. What seemed spiteful can now be forgiven.
Rebekah Clarkson's stories have been published widely, most recently in Best Australian Stories and Australian Book Review, and as the title story in Something Special, Something Rare: Outstanding Short Stories by Australian Women, published by Black Inc. Her stories have also been recognised in major awards in Australia and overseas, including the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize and the Carmel Bird Long Story Award. Her unpublished novel Kikuyu won a Varuna fellowship, and she has taught creative writing at the University of Adelaide, the University of Texas at Austin, and the SA Writers' Centre.