Shelfari edited the description of After the Fire, a Still Small Voice Thursday, August 27, 2009.
Set in the haunting landscape of eastern Australia, this is a stunningly accomplished debut novel about the inescapable past: the ineffable ties of family, the wars fought by fathers and sons, and what goes unsaid. After the departure of the woman he loves, Frank drives out to a shack by the ocean that he had last visited as a teenager. There, among the sugarcane and sand dunes, he struggles to rebuild his life. Forty years earlier, Leon is growing up in Sydney, turning out treacle tarts at his parents’ bakery and flirting with one of the local girls. But when he’s drafted to serve in Vietnam, he finds himself suddenly confronting the same experiences that haunt his war-veteran father. As these two stories weave around each other–each narrated in a voice as tender as it is fierce–we learn what binds Frank and Leon together, and what may end up keeping them apart.