Preservation, by Jock Serong

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Preservation was an impulse choice: I saw it at the library and I’d enjoyed Jock Serong’s On the Java Ridge (which BTW has won some awards since I read it).

Preservation is quite different in that it’s historical fiction set in colonial Sydney, and it only obliquely tackles the problem of evil in the present day.  It’s basically a detective story but it’s absorbing reading because it’s a howdunit and a whydunit rather than a whodunit…

The novel is derived from the true story of shipwreck of the Sydney Cove.  This is the blurb:

On a beach not far from the isolated settlement of Sydney in 1797, a fishing boat picks up three shipwreck survivors, distressed and terribly injured. They have walked hundreds of miles across a landscape whose features—and inhabitants—they have no way of comprehending. They have lost fourteen companions along the way. Their accounts of the ordeal are evasive.

It…

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