Bereft by Chris Womersley

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Synopsis

The year is 1919 and the Great War has ended. Sergeant Quinn Walker--with a damaged body and soul from his wartime experiences--decides to return home to the small and desolate town of Flint, Australia, to set right the past. Ten years earlier, he had fled following the horrific rape and murder of his beloved younger sister Sarah--a crime that everyone, including his family, believed Quinn committed.When he arrives on the outskirts of Flint, Quinn learns the town has not escaped the deadly flu epidemic sweeping the globe. And though he is in danger of being hanged if his identity is discovered, Quinn feels compelled to convince his mother (dying of the flu) of his innocence. As he hides out, working up the courage to confront the tragedy that shattered his life, Quinn meets a mysterious orphan girl, Sadie Fox, whose powers verge on magical and who seems to know more about the evil that lives in Flint than any child should. In gorgeously spare, poetic language, Bereft tells a powerful story about love and loss in a world ravaged by war and disease.
 
 

About Chris Womersley

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The Low Road, Chris Womersley's debut novel, won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Book in 2008. His second novel, Bereft, won the ABIA for Best Literary Fiction 2011, the Indie Award for Best Fiction 2011, and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, Australia's most prestigious literary award. His fiction and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Granta New Writing 14, Best Australian Stories 2006, Best Australian Stories 2010, The Monthly, and The Age. In 2007, one of his short stories won the Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize. Womersley lives and writes in Sydney.
 
Published January 1, 2011 by Penguin. 272 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bereft

The Bookbag

It would be easy to make this excellent book a film I would most certainly want to watch, but for now it remains a novel you most certainly should want to read.

Nov 06 2014 | Read Full Review of Bereft

The Sydney Morning Herald

Bereft, Womersley's new novel, is a strong, more compelling follow-up that explores some similar themes but urges them to new depths.

Sep 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Bereft

The Sydney Morning Herald

Few lead us so fearlessly to familiar locations made strange and terrifying or to others that seem conjured by old magic, such as the Cave of Hands, where Sadie and Quinn take refuge among "a galaxy of painted hands".

Aug 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Bereft

Red Online

The action forms a perfect arc and you get a real feel of the scenery without fussy similes.

Jul 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Bereft

Reader Rating for Bereft
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