book cover of The Sun Walks Down
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The Sun Walks Down

A novel by

Short-Listed for the 2023 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction
Named a Top 10 Best Book of 2023 by The Wall Street Journal
Named a Best Book of 2023 by Kirkus and Chicago Public Library

The Sun Walks Down is the book I’m always longing to find: brilliant, fresh, and compulsively readable. It is marvelous. I loved it start to finish.” —Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

Fiona McFarlane’s blazingly brilliant new novel,
The Sun Walks Down, tells the many-voiced, many-sided story of a boy lost in colonial Australia.

In September 1883, a small town in the South Australian outback huddles under strange, vivid sunsets. Six-year-old Denny Wallace has gone missing during a dust storm, and the entire community is caught up in the search for him. As they scour the desert and mountains for the lost child, the residents of Fairly—newlyweds, farmers, mothers, Indigenous trackers, cameleers, children, artists, schoolteachers, widows, maids, policemen—confront their relationships, both with one another and with the land­scape they inhabit.

The colonial Australia of
The Sun Walks Down is noisy with opinions, arguments, longings, and terrors. It��s haunted by many gods—the sun among them, rising and falling on each day in which Denny could be found, or lost forever.

Told in many ways and by many voices, Fiona McFarlane’s new novel pulses with love, art, and the unbearable divine. It arrives like a vision, mythic and bright with meaning.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Quite simply, the best novel I've ever read about 19th-century Australia. A tense search for a lost child unfolds with rising dread against a landscape of harsh and radiant beauty, amid lives as tangled as barbed wire." - Geraldine Brooks

"Gorgeous storytelling and superb characters are among the glories of The Sun Walks Down. Fiona McFarlane is an extraordinary writer, one of the best working today. Her magnificent reworking of the lost child story showcases the profound understanding she brings to people, places and the past. I lived in this wise, majestic novel for days and never wanted it to end." - Michelle de Kretser

"The Sun Walks Down is a brilliant, intimate epic, a book about a family and also about history that is full of heart and heat. Fiona McFarlane's ear for the gurgles and clamor and hidden symphonies of her characters' souls is flawless; the way their lives intertwine is propulsive, heartbreaking. She is, simply, one of the best writers around." - Elizabeth McCracken

"The Sun Walks Down is the book I'm always longing to find: brilliant, fresh and compulsively readable. It is marvellous. I loved it from start to finish." - Ann Patchett

"An exceptional, multi-layered historical novel with a beautifully styled plot. The power with which Fiona McFarlane evokes the place and time is extraordinary - a gorgeously written book." - Evie Wyld

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