Format: Paperback / softback
Published: April 2009
Lex Henderson washes up in a small coastal village after a tragedy shatters his life in Sydney. He wants only to escape from the world, and thinks he's found the perfect place to do it, until the local community starts taking an interest in him. By then, despite himself, he's a little fascinated in return, and is soon drawn into the place in ways he could never have anticipated. He also meets Callista Bennett, an artist with a hidden history, and enters into a friendship with her that is both volatile and difficult - both of them are paralysed by their pasts and by the idea of trusting anyone ever again.
What Lex does learn to trust is the beauty of the world around him, and he embraces it wholeheartedly, swimming out among the whales, spending hours a day studying the ever-changing patterns of the sea and the play of light and shadow, storm and sunshine. This is one way he can connect with Callista, who has spent her whole life engaged with the natural world and whose paintings capture it so vividly.
Then a whale is stranded on a nearby beach, and Lex, Callista and the townsfolk become involved in a tense and uncertain rescue. It is through the trials and emotions of this event that Lex and Callista see a way through their grief. But will their pasts ever let them go?
The Stranding is a beautifully told story of loss and recovery, exile and belonging, and the redemptive power of the natural world.
'An impressive Australian debut... there's a raw saltiness to the writing that vividly conveys the wild moods of the ocean and the crippling nature of emotional baggage.' Australia Women's Weekly
'This debut novel is a gift - filled with radiant metaphors and with a compelling storyline that had me wanting to swallow it down in big gulps.' Armidale Express
'A celebration of the extraordinary impact that witnessing whales in their natural environment has on the human spirit. A tender heart-warming novel that encompasses love, redemption and the wonders of nature.' Canberra Times
'A moving, edgy love story... a poignant anatomy of loss.' Weekend Australian
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