The BurialCourtney Collins
2 May 2013
Published by Allen & Unwin
It is the dawn of the twentieth century in Australia and a woman has done an unspeakable thing.
Twenty-two-year-old Jessie has served a two-year sentence for horse rustling. As a condition of her release she is apprenticed to Fitzgerald ‘Fitz’ Henry, who wants a woman to allay his loneliness in a valley populated by embittered ex-soldiers. Fitz wastes no time in blackmailing Jessie and involving her in his horse rustling and cattle stealing enterprises.
When Fitz is wounded in an accident he hires Aboriginal stockman Jack Brown to steal horses with Jessie. Soon both Jack Brown and Jessie are struggling against the oppressive and deadening grip of Fitz.
One catastrophic night turns Jessie’s life on its head and she must flee. From her lonely outpost, the mountains beckon as a place to escape. But first she must bury the evidence…
This is a striking and remarkable debut for the first-time novelist. Not merely dark and gritty, it endows earth and blood with elemental significance.
The Herald (Scotland)
A spellbinding debut novel... the author captures the world with an eerie beauty.
Nottingham Post (5* Press Association review)
There is a powerful vision behind this debut novel... Collins is a writer to watch.
While on the surface The Burial resembles a dominant strand of Australian fiction concerned with reimagining historical figures and events, its oddness and lyricism place it closer to recent novels that probe and query the possibilities of historical fiction.