book cover of Bereft
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Bereft

(2011)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Dagger Awards Best Book (nominee)
It is 1919. The Great War has ended, but the Spanish flu epidemic is raging across Australia. Schools are closed, state borders are guarded by armed men, and train travel is severely restricted. There are rumours it is the end of the world. In the NSW town of Flint, Quinn Walker returns to the home he fled ten years earlier when he was accused of an unspeakable crime: the murder of his then twelve-year-old sister, Sarah; found dead in Quinn's blood-soaked, knife-clutching hands. Quinn is innocent of this crime; the real perpetrator being his uncle, Robert Dalton - a man who is now, a decade on, town Sheriff and a pillar of the community. Aware of the townsmen's vow to hang him if he returns, Quinn hides in the hills surrounding Flint. While deciding upon his plan of action, and questioning just what he has returned for, he comes across the orphan Sadie Fox. This mysterious, feral-like child, with a seemingly impossible knowledge of Quinn's past, is also wanted by Dalton. And soon, as their bond greatens, Quinn learns what he must do to lay the ghosts of his past, and Sadie's present, to rest. A searing, gothic novel of love, longing and justice, Bereft is about the suffering endured by those who go to war and those who are forever left behind.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Bereft is a beautiful novel... Womersley writes with such compelling power it is barely possible to put the book down." - Debra Adelaide


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