Blog Archive

View My Stats
Monday, May 20, 2019

From the Wreck by Jane Rawson (reviewed by Lukasz Przywoski)



Official Author Website
Order From the Wreck over HERE


OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Jane Rawson grew up in Canberra. During years as a travel editor and writer, mostly for Lonely Planet, she dawdled around the streets of San Francisco, Prague and Phnom Penh and left smitten. She has also worked as the Environment Editor for news website The Conversation. She likes cats, quiet, minimal capitalisation, and finding out that everything is going to be OK.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George’s fractured life is intertwined with that of a woman from another dimension, seeking refuge on Earth. This is a novel imbued with beauty and feeling, filled both with existential loneliness and a deep awareness that all life is interdependent.

FORMAT/INFO: From the Wreck is 272 pages long divided over twenty-nine chapters. 

The book was published by Transit Lounge Publishing in 2017 and it's available as an e-book, paperback and hardcover. Cover art and design is provided by  Michael Shinde.


ANALYSIS: The novel opens with SS Admella, an Australian passenger steamship, being shipwrecked on a submerged reef off the coast of Carpenter Rocks in the early hours of Saturday 6 August 1859. Survivors clung to the wreck for over a week, many of them died despite having the land in sight. Rescue attempts failed one after another because of the weather.  Of the 113 on board, only 24 survived, including Jane Rawson’s great-great-grandfather George Hills and a mysterious woman, Bridget Ledwith.

The loss of 89 lives makes this tragedy rate as one of the worst maritime disasters in Australia’s history. From the Wreck follows the years-long aftermath of this horror through three perspectives, two human (George Hill and his death-obsessed son Henry), and one inhuman (a nameless shape-shifting creature from a different dimension).

George suffers from PTSD (Rawson accurately illustrates its symptoms and the current state of knowledge about trauma at the time). Plagued by nightmares and obsessed with memories of a shape-shifting woman that helped him to survive the accident, George tries to find her at any cost, slowly isolating himself emotionally and hurting his family. In the meantime, the creature was never far away. It attached itself to George’s family taking different shapes, for example, of the birthmark on Henry’s back. It feels lost and lonely on Earth and tries to survive.


I appreciate the way Rawson handled inhuman perspective. She did it with a poetic touch, sensibility, and imagination. The creature feels lost, lonely and confused. It doesn’t understand humans and doesn’t want to hurt them, but when it learns that others like it may still exist on Earth, it starts to influence Henry’s behavior by taking over his body and mind whenever it finds it necessary. That said, I find shape-shifting alien fascinating and written in a convincing, emotionally loaded way.


Rawson’s writing is elegant and imaginative, especially the parts written from the perspective of the alien. 

Apart from the introspective story, From The Wreck gives a well-researched insight into the social constructs of Australia at that time, especially with regards to women and their roles in the society. They were considered the “weaker sex” whose role was to support their husbands and raise children. When a woman lived her life, like one of the secondary characters named Beatrice, she risked being called a witch. 

CONCLUSION: Blending facts with fiction, From the Wreck tells a touching story about loneliness and the need for belonging. An excellent read.
 

0 comments:

Follow by Email

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Garrison Girl” by Rachel Aaron!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Detonation Boulevard” by Craig Schaefer!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Great Hearts” by David Oliver!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “City Of Kings” by Rob J. Hayes!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Dragon Racer 1” by M. R. Mathias!!!
Order HERE