A superbly compelling work of betrayals, compassion, secrets and reconciliation.
Alex Miller has twice won the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award, Australia's premier literary prize; the first occasion in 1993 for The Ancestor Game, and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, for The Ancestor Game, in 1993. British by birth, he now lives in Victoria.
Alex Miller's sixth book reveals trace elements of the ideas prevalent in two of his best-known novels, Conditions of Faith and The Ancestor Game. Once again we follow the trajectory of a woman trying to carve out a new life for herself, and once again we become enmeshed in the knotted ties of genealogy. Like its predecessors, Journey to the Stone Country will appeal to those interested in generational sagas that touch on broader themes of identity, sacrifice and redemption. However, this time round, the action is closer to home. Miller's protagonist is 42-year-old Annabelle Beck, who leaves her philandering husband in Melbourne and heads towards her childhood home in Northern Queensland. While working on an archaeological survey, Annabelle meets and falls for Indigenous field officer Bo Rennie, who used to work as a stockman on her father's cattle station. Gradually their intermingling family histories are exposed, including latent secrets, which had lain unearthed for a generation. Journey to the Stone Country is a meandering and rather earnest read whose narrative moves along at a leisurely pace, with the momentum only picking up towards the end. Though Miller treats the barren landscape of the `stone country' with a keen, lover's eye, at times his take on `black politics' and `white greed' is heavy-handed. Thuy On is a Melbourne-based freelance reviewer. C. 2002 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
A terrific tale of love and redemption that captivates from the first line. -- Nicholas Shakespeare Miller's fiction has a mystifying power that is always far more than the sum of its parts... his footsteps - softly, deftly, steadily - take you places you may not have been, and their sound resonates for a long time. * Sydney Morning Herald * The most impressive and satisfying novel of recent years. It gave me all the kinds of pleasure a reader can hope for. -- Tim Winton