TABOO, by Kim Scott, Pi­cador.

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Books -

Dou­ble Miles Franklin­win­ner Kim Scott’s latest novel imag­ines a mod­ern rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of an an­cient in­jury, in­volv­ing poi­soned – or taboo – land in his an­ces­tral coun­try of the Noon­gar, in WA. Abo­rig­ines were mur­dered here af­ter they killed a white farmer in re­venge for steal­ing one of their women. A group of white set­tlers now plan a Peace Park on the mas­sacre site, and in­vite descen­dants of those mur­dered to join them for the cer­e­mony. This mot­ley group in­cludes two broth­ers and a young Abo­rig­i­nal wo­man, who makes the long journey to the place she was raised de­spite deep, ter­ri­ble mem­o­ries of be­ing vilely abused – lit­er­ally, treated like a dog – in a nearby farm­house. It is a dark story, but Scott is such an el­e­gant and evoca­tive writer he finds grace – and sur­pris­ingly, real hu­mour – in the whole strange busi­ness.

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