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Wolfe Island

Kitty Hawke, the last inhabitant of a dying island sinking into the wind-lashed Chesapeake Bay, has resigned herself to annihilation... Until one night her granddaughter blows ashore in the midst of a storm, desperate, begging for sanctuary. For years, Kitty has kept herself to herself - with only the company of her wolfdog, Girl - unconcerned by the world outside, or perhaps avoiding its worst excesses. But blood cannot be turned away in times like these. And when trouble comes following her granddaughter, no one is more surprised than Kitty to find she will fight to save her as fiercely as her name suggests... A richly imagined and mythic parable of home and kin that cements Lucy Treloar's place as one of our most acclaimed novelists.

'A capacious talent' The Australian

'Deeply moving' The Age

'This lovely, atmospheric book sings of the inherent human drama, rising fragility of home-country and the recurrent need to flee and to protect. The journey told in this book is so evocative it will stay with the reader as an important literary fable of our period of history, in which a fraught world threatens all of us with flight, exile and bewilderment.' Tom Keneally

"From the award-winning author of Salt Creek, comes a powerful novel about family and what you will do for those you love. Set in a foreseeable dystopian world of climate change and border security, you will meet Kitty, who lives alone on an island which is quickly melting into the sea. BUt when her granddaughter and friends arrive on the island on a wild night seeking refuge, she finds a wild spirit that will both strengthen and break your heart."
Alli, Dymocks Carindale
RRP $29.99
Booklovers earn $1.45 in rewards when purchasing this title
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  • Title: Wolfe Island
  • Author: Lucy Treloar
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
  • ISBN: 9781760553159
  • Length: 233.0 millimetre
  • Width: 154.0 millimetre
  • Languages: English


1/09/2019 2:04:01 PM - Marianne
This is a literary treat.
“It was exhausting being around people and noticing them, thinking about them. I felt roughened and coarse now, as if I was rubbing against the grain of Wolfe Island. It used to be that I could forget myself and be, spend hours in the marshes watching the tides and the grasses, birds walking over my feet. I’d been still so long, listening to the unintelligible wind, I was part of it then, and insignificant. I missed that. The writing helped a little.” Wolfe Island is the second novel by award-winning Australian author, Lucy Treloar. Now the sole inhabitant of Wolfe Island, celebrated sculptor Kitty Hawke doesn’t see herself as a recluse, but she does have the islanders’ distrust of the main. Of the many possible reactions she might have had when she sees a tiny boat bringing four people to the shore, just ahead of a winter storm, the one she chooses is going to change her life. Of course, when she realises one is her sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Catalina Hawke, helping them is a given, regardless of a kernel of resentment about obligation. Despite her stubborn isolation, Kitty is not so naive of world affairs that she doesn't recognise teenaged Luis and his seven-year-old sister Alejandra as runners needing refuge. Why Cat and handsome eighteen-year-old Josh need to lie low is not clear. All are less than forthcoming with information. They settle into a vacant house and Kitty finds herself eventually getting used to having them around, Alejandra’s company in her “makings” room being particularly agreeable. Despite Cat’s fieriness, they seem to rub along well enough until events overtake them, by which time: “I knew in those moments two things: the purest contentment, and that I would kill anyone who hurt these people.” When Kitty suggests they need to leave Wolfe Island, no one is more surprised than she herself. Over the months on Wolfe Island and later on the road, the presence of this erstwhile family has Kitty reflecting on the difficult relationship she has had with her son, Tobe, Cat’s mother, Claudie, and her ex-husband, Hart, largely a product of an artistic woman’s strong sense of connection to her place. This is told in Kitty’s notebook, where she also records lists: things found, useful, wished for or essential, visitors, observations, dragonflies… Her later encounters with vigilantes, fugitive illegals and those who help them prompt Kitty’s own wonderfully practical assistance endeavours. Treloar has the reader intrigued from the first chapter, with hints at murder, and a confrontation involving a gun, a baby and a crazed man. As the story progresses, tension builds up with the slow revelation of facts, and suspicions confirmed. At a certain point, the reader may be sitting back, sighing, thinking the worst is over, when Treloar throws in another gut-punch; the malice of some characters will leave the reader gasping. Against a background of an island home being insidiously eaten up by the sea and a mainland population reaching hysterical extremes concerning refugees and illegal immigrants, Treloar’s story also touches on sexual harassment and teen pregnancy. She gives the reader some blackly funny moments, the odd lump-in-the-throat, several surprises and many insightful observations about life. All this is contained within a gorgeous cover and wrapped in some wonderfully evocative descriptive prose: “The whole island was like dominoes lined up. I was always eyeing which part might be the next to fall” and “I never felt as lonely as when I saw them all together and knew myself apart” are examples. Also: “The water in the inlet had frozen overnight and was as motionless as a photograph for a while ... The water seemed to have gathered itself mid-breath and stopped - held its movement and energy within, its peaks and troughs, slight as they were, intact - until with an imperceptible loosening around mid-morning it slumped, the icy rime at land's edge fell back, the water levelled and the current from the bend of a hummock began to merge into the still bay” are but a few examples. Treloar’s prose truly showcases the beauty of these islands with their marshes and moods, their close communities and their wildlife, and all that will be lost when these islands drown. Treloar’s second novel might just be even better than her first. What will this talented author do next? This is a literary treat. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Pan Macmillan


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