There are questions and recommendation-seeking after the review – please join in the discussion!
It was the first snow Taylor had seen since his transfer to Tasmania, and he didn’t much care for it. After seven years on the mainland with National Parks & Wildlife, he’d spent the last three in the snowfields and high country of Victoria. It was a dream job for any ranger, but that was before losing Claire. She was eight years old then. It was a year ago to the day. Taylor clenched his jaw as something trembled deep within him. Something more than grief. Something more than heartache, like a treasured memory dying.
Life can turn on a penny, his father used to say.
‘Amen, Dad,’ Taylor whispered, the sound of his voice loud in the silent cottage.
The Crossing (Australian author B. Michael Radburn’s debut) is a moody, painful exploration into a father’s grief, and his sudden determination to find a little girl gone missing in his small isolated town – a town slowly being swallowed by a newly built dam.
While reading The Crossing, I found myself gripping the pages tightly (sorry, local library!) in parts of the tale, my hope and anxiety matching those of Taylor, the sorrow ridden father, as he fought his own exhaustion and nightmares to search for the missing girl. At other times, the portrayal of mourning was communicated so painfully it had me holding the book carefully to my chest as I tried to slow my breathing and dry my eyes. The Crossing evokes not only the Tasmanian country beautifully, but also the dense, lonely inner world of Taylor and the intricacies of other characters. Radburn deftly combines the changing landscape, the residents’ own shadows, secrets and Taylor’s mourning into a tale as haunting, fascinating and deep as the approaching watery quiet. There is humour, love and loyalty in The Crossing as well, leading the reader into considering things lost, found, and still hoped for.
(The Crossing is available in hard-copy through Australian stores – many of which post internationally- or electronically through Amazon or Apple. Go here for the first chapter sample).
Which works of fiction have captured grieving, sorrow or sadness perfectly heartwrenchingly for you?
Do you avoid certain themes – such as in this book, missing children – in your reading? If so, which themes, and why?
Does a book being set in a different country increase or quell your interest?