- Title: The Fern Tattoo
- Author: David Brooks
- ISBN: 9780702236266
- Page: 299
- Format: Paperback
A century of family secrets starts to unravel when Benedict Waters is summoned to an audience with an old friend of his mother He is seduced by her storytelling and it takes time and an astonishing revelation before he realises that it is his own family he has been hearing about, his own life that is being undone From the Blue Mountains to the Hawkesbury and from SydneyA century of family secrets starts to unravel when Benedict Waters is summoned to an audience with an old friend of his mother He is seduced by her storytelling and it takes time and an astonishing revelation before he realises that it is his own family he has been hearing about, his own life that is being undone From the Blue Mountains to the Hawkesbury and from Sydney to the south coast of New South Wales, The Fern Tattoo takes us on a kaleidoscopic journey through several generations of three families We meet a range of extraordinary characters including a bigamist bishop, a librarian tattooed from neck to knee, a young girl who kills her best friend in a tragic shooting accident and a pair of lovers who live each other s lives for years after they have separated As with all families, there are lost loves, tragic passions and unspoken sometimes unspeakable histories.
Recent Comments "The Fern Tattoo"
In the manner of much Australian literary fiction, this is not what you would call a page turner. It is a slow read and bleak and yet strangely haunting. Some of the writing is beautiful and the descriptions of places like the South Coast, Blue Mountains and Sydney so detailed and visual that I could see them in my mind. The characters to me were not as well defined. The stories of the various characters take place over time. Like piecing together a jigsaw it needs concentration at times to see [...]
Beautiful, beautiful writing. I recommend it!
This book was a fluke pick up at the library. The blurb read well and the cover was interesting. What followed was an intriguing story of a young girl, living in isolated coastal NSW in an area our family visited a couple of years ago, so I could really "see" the pictures of the landscape the author painted. The book went on to tell several stories, which sometimes got me a little confused (especially when I was driven to read into the wee hours!), that were all intertwined in the most interesti [...]
This is beautifully written AUstralian Literary fiction. I enjoyed it much more than the Steven Caroll from the Miles Franklin shortlist. I feel I should read it again from the beginning though as all the interweaving stories come together at the end and now I want to go back and start again! It's not often you find a book where characters come to Umina, visit the Blue Mountains and go up and down to the SOuth COast as well. The historical details of the back stories are beautifully done and the [...]
One of the interesting aspects of this book is how little dialogue there was in the whole thing. Most of it was just story telling. The story did progressed, but the lack of dialogue was intriguing - definitely a different form of story-telling.Overall, I found the multitude of characters to be confusing. When the author would bring up people not mentioned for over a hundred pages, I had to dig deep to try to figure out who they were. There are still some small vignettes of certain characters th [...]
A book with so many characters in so many different time-frames. I almost needed a flow chart to keep track of them. Everything ties together at the end and it becomes apparent who is linked to who, but it requires some deduction along the way. Armed with the final knowledge, there are quite a few parts I would like to re-read. In fact, it is a book that almost has to be read twice to be fully comprehended. Enjoyable, sometimes confusing, and requires concentration.
A magnificent, haunting and layered novel about family, secrets, love and hate. Set in various parts of Australia, including the far south coast of NSW (a place I know well and love). There are elements of this novel that I did not really understand (for example, where Alice’s story fitted in). I couldn’t get into his previous novel, The House of Balthus, but I think this is one to re-read to bring together all the threads of theme, character, narrative and locations.
I do like books that make the reader do a bit of work to connect different parts of the story and characters and this book definitely did that without making it all too hard and frustrating. It gave fragments of stories and characters lives which made it quite a real book, like a story someone would tell from their own experiences.
The best Australian novel I have ever read. Sweeping 200 years of history in NSW centering around Sydney and the Blue Mountains, it is a story of family, love, regret and tragedy. I instantly wanted to re-readthis book as soon as I had finished reading it - I missed the new friends I had made and the language just seeps into your skin like a delicious cold press on a hot day.
An enjoyable read. Brooks is able to guide the reader through the stories of many characters in a way that engages you and enables sincere attachment. His ability to balance character development and intrigue, by bringing the reader just close enough, is rare. Trust me when I say that when you finish this book, you'll immediately want to start over again.
For a clever country, a lucky country, a well-educated prosperous country I find our literature - bleak. Do all Australian writers to be the next Patrick White?
fantastic, magical. swept me along in the waves, on the train, on glances cast, words parried. lively. alive. tales to tell. a little mystery. a little journey. of that interior kind in the end.
The many characters make it difficult to follow. Loved how the characters all connected through time.
To be honest, I didn't even finish the book. I didn't find it compelling.
a good story, though it takes some time to figure out, so many SHEs
Very special, amazing novel. A book you give to someone you care about.
I read this when it was shortlisted for an award (the Miles Franklin?). I found parts of it a little obscure, but the storyline was compelling and there's a wonderful evocation of place.
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