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After the Fire, a Still Small Voice: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2009)
by Evie Wyld
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Frank moves from Canberra to a shack on the east coast after the turbulent breakdown of his relationship. He wants to put his violent past and bad memories of his father behind him. In a small coastal community, he tries to retrain himself as someone who can have regular conversations and relations with other people. He even starts to make friends, including 8-year-old Sal and her carrot. But something dark watches him, a Creeping Jesus in the sugar cane. Leon is the child of European immigrants to Australia. Leon's father loves Australia for becoming their home when their own country turned hostile during WWII. His mother is not so comforted by suburban life in a cake shop. His parents are broken when his father volunteers to fight in the Korean War. Leon then goes from working in the shop, sculpting sugar dolls for the tops of wedding cakes, to killing young men as a conscripted machine-gunner in Vietnam. Back in Australia, in towns lost in the bush, Christian fundamentalism settles on a sleepy community who chose to forget the legacy of war and the conflicts between people. In the fall-out from Vietnam, Leon thinks he might be able to make a new life with his woman, make a baby, live by the sea in a small shack. But something watches from the cold shade of the teeming bush...
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