Between a Wolf and a Dog (Paperback)Georgia Blain (author)
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WINNER OF THE 2017 VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY AWARD FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE 2016 UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND FICTION BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 STELLA PRIZE
Outside, the rain continues unceasing; silver sheets sluicing down, the trees and shrubs soaking and bedraggled, the earth sodden, puddles overflowing, torrents coursing onwards, as the darkness slowly softens with the dawn.
Ester is a family therapist with an appointment book that catalogues the anxieties of the middle class: loneliness, relationships, death. She spends her days helping others find happiness, but her own family relationships are tense and frayed. Estranged from both her sister, April, and her ex-husband, Lawrence, Ester wants to fall in love again. Meanwhile, April is struggling through her own directionless life; Lawrence's reckless past decisions are catching up with him; and Ester and April's mother, Hilary, is about to make a choice that will profoundly affect them all.
Taking place largely over one rainy day in Sydney, and rendered with the evocative and powerful prose Blain is known for, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a celebration of the best in all of us - our capacity to live in the face of ordinary sorrows, and to draw strength from the transformative power of art. Ultimately, it is a joyous tribute to the beauty of being alive.
PRAISE FOR GEORGIA BLAIN
'[An] elegant, intelligent and affecting novel from a writer at the height of her powers.' The Saturday Paper
'Like all her novels, Between a Wolf and a Dog explores the often unarticulated complexities of the intersection of the personal and the political with exquisite grace and intelligence.' Australian Book Review
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Number of pages: 272
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 20 mm
Edition: New edition
'[An] elegant, intelligent and affecting novel from a writer at the height of her powers.'* The Saturday Paper *
'Blain just gets better and better. The clarity, warmth and precision of Between a Wolf and a Dog brings to mind the formal beauty of an exquisitely cut gemstone. Blain looks at the big questions - mortality, grief, forgiveness - through the lens of one family's everyday struggle to love each other. This portrait of marriage and work, of sisterhood, mothers, and daughters is resolute and clear-eyed; so commanding and beautifully written it made me cry.'-- Charlotte Wood, author of The Natural Way of Things
'Heartfelt, wise, and emotionally intelligent, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a beautifully tender exploration of the complications of family love, self-knowledge, and the struggle for forgiveness.'-- Gail Jones, author of A Guide to Berlin
'What a marvellously clear eye Georgia Blain has for the ways in which we love and harm one another. Whether she is observing a "coconut-ice" grevillea or meditating on everyday consolations and sorrows, Blain is a quietly profound writer and this is a remarkable book.'-- Michelle De Kretser
'Between a Wolf and a Dog is an elegantly told story describing the ambiguities within human relationships. Each evening, when my children slept, I would enter the world of this book - coming to know a flawed, courageous, and creative family of characters, as they struggled to be good, to be whole, and finally, to let go.'-- Sofie Laguna, author of The Eye of the Sheep
'[A]n elegant novel, written in lucent and, at times, luminous prose. It is a work of delicately detailed emotion and beautiful balance, and it is so well paced that its narrative is utterly compelling. It is a remarkable portrayal of family relationships, and the complex and often competing desires and sensitivities that drive them, but it is mostly a book about love and forgiveness, and holding on to our good fortune and our loved ones, even and especially in the face of loss. It is heartfelt and resonant, and a remarkable novel that lingers long after its final page.'-- Fiona Wright * Weekend Australian *
'Blain is a writer of such lucidity and strength that her characters speak, undeniably, for themselves ... What make it possible to contain tragedy in words, so that the reader enters into the experience and passes through it, cleansed? The Greek playwrights had their own answers to this question; but the question, I suspect, is far older than their version of it. Each generation of authors must find the right words for writing about death. Part of the reason Between a Wolf and a Dog succeeds so well is that everything in the novel is heartfelt without being in the least sentimental.'-- Dorothy Johnston * Sydney Morning Herald *
'Picking a favourite Georgia Blain novel is like picking a favourite child ... Blain intelligently asks the big questions - about mortality, grief, forgiveness and how hard it can sometimes be to love those we're supposed to.'* North and South *
'Captures the elusive moment when it's time to forgive, when it's time to stop fighting.'* Australian Women's Weekly *
'Luminous ... Blain creates characters so real that they colonise the mind and become part of the reader's world well after the end of the novel; her setting - a single day suffused with rain implacable as tears - becomes our weather; her children - particularly the young twins Catherine and Lara - delight with their lively authenticity.'-- Katharine England * Adelaide Advertiser *
'Blain writes enchantingly about the interstices of life, the places where morality and meaningfulness blur, and characters try to justify their actions or deal with their emotions ... lyrical and lucid.'* Herald Sun *
'On a rainy day in Sydney, pivotal moments from each character's past are revisited to illuminate the present. Blain's domestic detail and her life-affirming pace make this novel substantial and sincere.'-- Blanche Clark * Daily Telegraph *
'In graceful prose, Blain's characters attempt to celebrate the important things in life: love, work, sisterhood and marriage; and struggle as those things unravel ... A heartbreaker.'* Psychologies *
'Whenever I need reminding of the preciousness of ordinary life I return to this stunning novel of forgiveness and family, which gives clear, beautiful voice to the fierce luck of being alive.'-- Charlotte Wood * The Age 'Best Books of 2016' *
'A heartbreaking, beautiful novel.'-- Toni Jordan * The Age 'Best Books of 2016' *
'Like all her novels, Between a Wolf and a Dog explores the often unarticulated complexities of the intersection of the personal and the political with exquisite grace and intelligence.'-- James Bradley * Australian Book Review 'Best Books of 2016' *
'My favourite work of fiction in this year was Georgia Blain's lush and loss-ridden Between a Wolf and a Dog. It's a novel about the ways in which we hurt each other, or are hurt by the world, yet it is hopeful and redemptive in the small moments and minute joys that it charts.'-- Fiona Wright * Australian Book Review 'Best Books of 2016' *
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