The Things She's Seen

The Things She's Seen, by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Here's my title for AusNovember!  I've been excitedly waiting for it to wend its way through the library process so I could check it out.   This is a new YA novel by a brother and sister team.  


Beth is dead, to begin with.  The only person who can still see her is her dad, who was so devastated by her death in a car accident that she stuck around in hopes of helping him get back on his feet.  He's a policeman -- a detective -- and he's been asked to investigate a house fire in a tiny country town that left one unidentified person dead.  A simple case for a guy who needs easing back into his job.

Or perhaps not.  Beth is sure there's more to this than meets the eye.  The house was a group home for foster kids, run by an administrator and a nurse, but nobody ever saw the kids out and about.  The single witness to the fire is a girl who will only communicate what she knows in an elliptical, symbolic, storytelling way.  And the police chief is very nervous.

This is a mystery, but that's less than half of what it is.  It's also the stories of Beth, Catching, and Crow.  It's a meditation on how truth is experienced and told, and on the many intersections, mostly painful, in Australia between Aboriginal and white cultures.

It's very, very good -- emotionally gripping, the characters beautifully drawn, and the language often raw and poetic at the same time.  I recommend!


  1. I love that cover! I always thought the cover was the most important way to draw me to read a blurb is the cover...

    1. The cover is both beautiful and very meaningful, so I love it. :)

  2. Aw yeah, I thought this book was lovely. I keep hoping to see more books from these authors soon! I read Ambelin Kwaymullina's SF/ecofantasy series and liked it a lot, if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.


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