The World Beneath by Cate Kennedy

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The first novel from acclaimed author Cate Kennedy is a compassionate and unswerving portrait of a broken family whose members go to extraordinary lengths to reclaim their lives and relationships from the mistakes of the past.

Fifteen years after their break-up, Rich and Sandy have both settled into the unfulfilling compromises of middle age: he’s a late-night infomercial editor with photojournalism aspirations; she makes hippie jewelry for a local market and struggles to maintain a New Age lifestyle that fails to provide the answers she seeks. To distract themselves from their inadequacies, Rich and Sandy cling to the shining moment of their youth, when they met as environmental activists as part of a world-famous blockade to save Tasmania’s Franklin River.

Their daughter, Sophie, has always remained skeptical of this ecological fairytale, but when Rich invites her on a backpacking trip through Tasmania for her fifteenth birthday, Sophie sees it as a way to bond with a father she’s never known. As they progress further into the wilderness, the spell of Rich’s worldly charm soon gives way to suspicion and fear as his overconfidence sets off a chain of events that no one could have predicted.

About Cate Kennedy

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Cate Kennedy's short story collection Dark Roots, was shortlisted for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal and first serialized in The New Yorker. She lives in Victoria, Australia.
Published February 1, 2011 by Grove Press, Black Cat. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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This debut novel about an estranged father and daughter's trek through the Tasmanian outback is well observed and often very funny, even if it wraps up a little too neatly.

Feb 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The World Beneath

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