Paradise Earth by Amy Barker is another Aussie book and was recommended to me by Lynette Washington, Aussie author of the collection of linked short stories, Plane Tree Drive, which I will get to shortly. I seem to be having an Aussie period here, but I guess there are worse things … 🙂

Anyway, here is the blurb from Amazon:

“Coming home to Tasman Peninsula with her Northern Irish partner, Ruth journeys into her own psychic trauma as well as that projected onto the raw, monumental coast. When Ruth’s brother John helps his fourteen-year-old son apply for a firearm’s permit–almost two and a half decades after Port Arthur– they risk condemning those who do not remember the past to repeat it.”

“A Port Arthur survivor, Marina has returned to the Peninsula with her brother Moon to pack up Doo-No-Harm, the family holiday home, after their mother’s death. Marina’s personhood was so violated by her early life experience that she has been left an angry She-wolf about to set out on the hunt. In a convoy of duck rescuers, the siblings head for a confrontation with shooters on the wetland.”

“In these lives choreographed by trauma, damage and the ramifications of wilful forgetfulness, transformation can only occur after an extremely painful lesson.”

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You can also buy the book directly from Stormbird Press here.

I also recommend this interesting author interview with Amy Barker.

You will note that the book is billed as a “novel” on the cover, but I trust my recommendation as well as a review from the Stormbird Press page, which says that Paradise Earth “recounts a series of separate but interconnecting stories that explore the vicissitudes and fragility of the human condition”.

They probably didn’t use it in the promo material if it wasn’t true, but I think this example probably demonstrates how difficult it is 1) to sell a novel-in-stories and 2) how many people likely don’t really know what it is.

Interesting aside, it appears Amy Barker also thought she wanted to become a lawyer, like Carrie, but changed paths once it was clear to her that art was what she really wanted. If Carrie had had the wherewithal to do that, who knows how her story had unfolded? Probably with a lot less pain …

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