Review by Perth Local Author - Susan Midalia
Arnott’s third novel is a triumph of literary realism about humanity’s intense sense of connection to the land, the ocean and animal life, as well as an exploration of the complications, dissatisfactions and sporadic moments of joy within families.
Set in rural Tasmania, the novel focuses on Ned, the youngest and motherless child of an emotionally inexpressive father, from childhood to old age. In doing so doing it charts the impact of war, industrialisation and a belated recognition of the damage caused by white colonialism on its main character. The world of nature is beautifully evoked, and the details of various kinds of manual labour are admirably precise; it’s a treat to read a novel about work, a subject which dominates the lives of most real people but is often overlooked in literary fiction.
Limberlost is also a psychologically astute and compassionate exploration of different models of masculinity. It’s both emotionally restrained and stylistically lush, and within a relatively brief space is able to imagine vast tracts of time and a range of experiences in the life of a community and a family.
A beautifully written quiet novel by award winning Australian author, Robbie Arnott. The novel can, in effect, be summed up in the powerful epigraph "In the economy of nature nothing is ever lost"
Set in Tasmania, the story follows young Ned as he navigates everything which comes his way, one long hot summer - a whale, a quoll, a boat. The significance of these, each a metaphor and a reality, is revealed gradually and as we learn, resonate througout Ned's life
From the first sentence, we are drawn into young Ned's world. he is sensitive, but also has a great sense of responsibility - to the land, the orchard, his family, the future. Each character is finely drawn; Ned's father is a powerful presence throughout, and even in absentia; Ned's two brothers are people we feel we know. This is a whole life journey yet told with skilled economy. The ending will stay with you well after you turn the last page.
The much-anticipated third novel by award-winning Australian author Robbie Arnott, Limberlost is a story of family and land, loss and hope, fate and the unknown, and love and kindness.
In the heat of a long summer Ned hunts rabbits in a river valley, hoping the pelts will earn him enough money to buy a small boat.
His two brothers are away at war, their whereabouts unknown. His father and older sister struggle to hold things together on the family orchard, Limberlost.
Desperate to ignore it all-to avoid the future rushing towards him-Ned dreams of open water.
As his story unfolds over the following decades, we see how Ned's choices that summer come to shape the course of his life, the fate of his family and the future of the valley, with its seasons of death and rebirth.
The third novel by the award-winning author of Flames and The Rain Heron, Limberlost is an extraordinary chronicle of life and land- of carnage and kindness, blood ties and love.