Raw and poignant Kate Lyons lays bare the secrets and violence that lie hidden in many families: a legacy that saw many leaving their home, eventually creating a life far different to that which they knew.
In Far Back Country, Ray leaves his home at the age of fourteen to escape the violence after a particularly violent confrontation with his dad.
He builds a new life, always on the move as a shearer’s cook or labourer, picking up work as he moved about the outback regions of Australia, always as a loner, worried that the violence of his past was somehow inherited.
When a man’s body is found in a country pub, with Rays wallet and papers with him it sets of a train of events that will see family secrets come to light: secrets kept hidden for many decades. Ray’s sister Ursula is contacted to come and identify him and collect his belongings, but when she takes a look at the man supposed to be her brother, and even allowing for all the years since she saw him, she realises this is not Ray.
She decides that perhaps it is time to try once again to find him and sets out to follow his pathway over the years to discover what it was that made him disappear so completely. Her journey leads along a pathway which would bring back memories of a long-forgotten time in her own life, offer solace and heal the wounds of long ago.
Emotional, stark and beautifully constructed The Far Country is more than a work of fiction, as reading through the pages it is very hard to define whether this is, or is not, a biography as Kate Lyons has captured the very essence of reality that was and still is a component of outback living and many people’s lives.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|