Storyland [Miles Franklin 2018 Shortlist]
This is an ambitious novel that honestly explores who we are as Australians, challenging our history, our present and our future. Poetically staged under the protective shade of an old knotted fig tree on the banks of Lake Illawarra, this tale spans four centuries and is told through five cleverly interlocking storylines with a handful of characters some of which are historically recognisable such as Matthew Flinders and George Bass or are distantly related or share a connection through circumstance. Storyland leaves you with an overwhelming need to sit and quietly think about what you just experienced. Kim
'This land is a forever land. The clock ticks to a different time.'Set on the banks of Lake Illawarra and spanning four centuries, Storyland is a remarkable and moving novel about who we are and our connection to this land.Telling the stories of five very different people, Storyland weaves together a compelling narrative. In 1796 Will Martin, a young cabin boy, goes on a daring voyage of discovery with Matthew Flinders and George Bass. In 1822 a desperate ex-convict, Hawker, commits an act of terrible brutality, and in 1900 Lola is running a dairy farm with her half brother and sister, when they come under suspicion for a crime they did not commit. In 1998 Bel goes on a rafting adventure with her friends and is unexpectedly caught up in violent events, and in 2033 Nada sees her world start to terrifyingly collapse. Intriguingly, all these characters are connected - not only through the land and water they inhabit, but also by tendrils of blood, history, memory and property ...Thrilling and ambitious, Storyland tells no less than the story of Australia - and it is an unforgettable, thought-provoking and powerful account of our history, our present and our future.
MILES FRANKLIN 2018 LONGLIST