Bereft The year is and the Great War has ended Sergeant Quinn Walker with a damaged body and soul from his wartime experiences decides to return home to the small and desolate town of Flint Australia

  • Title: Bereft
  • Author: Chris Womersley
  • ISBN: 9781402798139
  • Page: 453
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The year is 1919 and the Great War has ended Sergeant Quinn Walker with a damaged body and soul from his wartime experiences decides to return home to the small and desolate town of Flint, Australia, to set right the past Ten years earlier, he had fled following the horrific rape and murder of his beloved younger sister Sarah a crime that everyone, including his familThe year is 1919 and the Great War has ended Sergeant Quinn Walker with a damaged body and soul from his wartime experiences decides to return home to the small and desolate town of Flint, Australia, to set right the past Ten years earlier, he had fled following the horrific rape and murder of his beloved younger sister Sarah a crime that everyone, including his family, believed Quinn committed.When he arrives on the outskirts of Flint, Quinn learns the town has not escaped the deadly flu epidemic sweeping the globe And though he is in danger of being hanged if his identity is discovered, Quinn feels compelled to convince his mother dying of the flu of his innocence As he hides out, working up the courage to confront the tragedy that shattered his life, Quinn meets a mysterious orphan girl, Sadie Fox, whose powers verge on magical and who seems to know about the evil that lives in Flint than any child should In gorgeously spare, poetic language, Bereft tells a powerful story about love and loss in a world ravaged by war and disease.

    130 Comment

    • karen says:

      oh, i don't knowif i had to judge this book based on "the author's ability to manipulate language in a way that pleases the reader and creates a haunting, atmospheric tale," it would get high marks.but if i had to judge it on "the author's ability to tell a freaking story with compelling and believable characters," it would fall down hardstralian gothic, it should be awesome, right? postwar, flu-ridden australia, where men carry guns and hanging is still an accepted practice, with justice being [...]

    • PattyMacDotComma says:

      4★“Bloody hell. Bloody hell. Still the snake unravelled. He began to shuffle backwards but his stuttering progress was stymied by a branch that snagged on the shoulder of his uniform. He felt faint. He mumbled a prayer.Then, in an instant, a hand swooped to grasp the snake about its neck. The girl stood before him with the flailing serpent in a slender, two-fisted grip. The snake spat and writhed and looped its long body around her forearm. Grimacing with effort, she unwound it from her pale [...]

    • Margitte says:

      BLURBA CRIME UNSPEAKABLE: Australia, 1919. Quinn Walker returns from the Great War to the New South Wales town of Flint: the birthplace he fled ten years earlier when he was accused of a heinous act. A LIE UNFORGIVABLE: Aware of the townsmen's vow to hang him, Quinn takes to the surrounding hills. Here, deciding upon his plan of action, and questioning just what he has returned for, he meets Sadie Fox. A BOND UNBREAKABLE: This mysterious girl seems to know, and share, his darkest fear. And, as t [...]

    • Sharon says:

      In 1909 twelve year old Sarah Walker is found brutally raped and murdered in a shed in a small town of Flint in New South Wales. Standing over her with the bloodied knife in his hand is her sixteen year old brother Quinn. Their father Nathaniel and uncle Robert are the first ones to discover what has just happened. Quinn immediately runs off and and no one hears from him until years later when his mother receives a telegram telling her that Quinn was killed in the war.Ten years later Quinn retur [...]

    • Brenda says:

      As Sergeant Quinn Walker contemplated the vast blue ocean surrounding him with the murmur of the other soldiers behind him, he wondered at life – wondered at his survival while many others did not. The Military Cross he had received for bravery; acts he couldn’t remember but received assurances of the lives he had saved. The bitterness was deep within him, the savagery intense as he hurled the award far into the ocean, imagining it sinking into the depths as he sometimes wished he could do. [...]

    • ☼♄Jülie  says:

      Bereft by Chris WomersleyIts 1919 and Quinn Walker has returned from the great war, physically and mentally scarred in so many ways. After experiencing the atrocities of war, he keenly misses his familycially his motherhe wants to return to his home town of Flint in western New South Wales, but is unsure of the reception that awaits him if he returns there after so long exile.Ten years earlier at age sixteen, Quinn suddenly fled his home and family after he was discovered by his father and uncle [...]

    • Carolyn says:

      Quinn Walker has returned from WWI to the small home town that he fled 10 years earlier when he was caught red handed holding the knife that killed his 12 year old sister, Sarah. As a result his guilt has been assumed by the town and he knows he will be hung if ever caught. Now he has returned seeking justice and revenge for his sister's death. Finding the town in the grips of the 1919 flu epidemic, he hides out in the bush where he encounters a strange, mystical young girl, Sadie, recently orph [...]

    • Kinga says:

      There is only so much one can read about little girls murdered by big bad men. I know it makes for an easy plot, but, dear writers, give me a break!And it is such a shame, because Chris Womersley knows how to write. As in he can produce beautiful sentences. He can create great atmosphere – there is Australia, First World War and epidemic. There could be a way better story cooked with those ingredients but Womersley goes for the cliché. I’m yet to read a book where the big bad child murderer [...]

    • Sally906 says:

      The blurb of BEREFT describes it as a gothic novel – dark and brooding. And after looking in my dictionary I discovered that the word ‘bereft’ is a verb of the word bereaves which means to deprive and make desolate as a result of death. Sure sums up the basis of this very well written novel. So well written in fact, that it is hard to do justice to it in a review, but I will do my best, I don’t have the mastery for writing that Chris Womersley undoubtable has.Opening in 1909 Quinn Walker [...]

    • Elizabeth (Alaska) says:

      This review isn't going to be nearly as good as the first two lines in the most popular review by karen. If you choose not to go to her review, she basically says the writing is pretty darned good, but the execution of the story line and characterization is pretty darned awful. And then she goes into a lot more detail than I have the energy to devote to this one.It's a quick read for even this slow reader simply because the prose carries you easily along. Although this isn't necessarily the pros [...]

    • David says:

      This is the second novel by Australian author Chris Womersley and is set in the fictitious outback NSW town of Flint before, during and directly after World War I.Quinn Walker is the 'bereft' character who from the age of 16 has endured a life of abject misery. Accused of murdering his beloved younger sister, fleeing the scene and then surviving WWI at the frontline in Gallipoli and France as a decorated soldier, Quinn sneaks back to his hometown some 10 years later. There he finds his mother dy [...]

    • Alex says:

      This is one book I didn't want to end. It is a beautifully written story of utmost tragedy and suffering, it's protagonist, Quinn Walker, returning to his small outback hometown after ten years to resolve the murder of his younger sister. The catalyst for this was surviving the horrors of WW1, a major theme of this book.He finds the town, indeed the country, he has returned to in the grip of the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1919. In this, he has returned from a horrifying and brutal field of de [...]

    • Mish says:

      This is a touching and beautifully written book. Set in 1900 in a small town of Flint NSW. Quinn, a 15year old boy, has been accused of murdering his younger sister Sarah. His father and uncle wants Quinn caught and punished for this horrendous crime. Young Quinn who is frightened, panics and flees the crime scene. He later joins the army only to survive WW2 with severe facial injuries, breathing difficulties from exposure of poisonous gas, and is mentally distressed by the death of his sister a [...]

    • Lisa says:

      Bereft is a fascinating novel for fans of the gothic. There is a crime, but the interest in this story is nothing to do with whodunnit. That’s obvious from early on; it’s the story of a man coming-to-terms with his own life that makes it such a compelling tale. The characterisation is memorable, and Womersley’s prose and imagery is so vivid that I found myself stopping to savour it often. My reading journal is full of superb quotations and images that I copied out by hand as examples of a [...]

    • Annerlee says:

      A soldier returns from the Gt War to the small town of Flint (Australia). Not really a crime thriller in the normal sense. Much deeper. Gave me an insight into the effect of WW1 on returning soldiers and the families of those who didn't return. Also the dehabilitating effects of the flu epidemic. Bad times

    • Bridget says:

      This novel has been on my tbr list for a really long time, when I finally got to reading it I did so without re-reading the blurb, I just launched into it. That was probably a really good thing as I had thought I'd had my fill of war survivor stories for a while, but this one was very different to those I've read this year. The setting of small Australian town and it's surrounds was beautifully drawn by the author, I loved the descriptions of the shimmering heat and the suffering of the people o [...]

    • Beadyjan says:

      A touching if rather bleak look at the unlikely friendship which develops between a 1st world war veteran and a young orphan during the flu epidemic of 1919 in Australia.Quinn left his home town of Flint at the age of 16 under a cloud after a terrible event which leaves a lasting mark on him. He has since seen sights in the trenches which no young man could experience without being deeply affected.It is in this fragile state of mind that he returns to his childhood home seeking peace of mind and [...]

    • Melbourne Library Service says:

      Definitely one of my favourite reads ever, and one book I recommend to almost everyone, this is a haunting Australian story which stayed with me long after I read it. Descriptively beautiful, the sense of place evoked by the author is painfully bleak, instantly recognisable and simply put, stunning. The writing is subtle and draws you ever so gently into the story until you are thoroughly in its grip. This is a dark and brooding book, although not without hope and joy in parts. A disfigured man [...]

    • Kathryn says:

      I liked parts of this book - I liked the first 200 pages, or thereabouts. I found the story interesting, I felt sorry for Quinn and was curious about the young orphan girl he meets, Sadie. But I felt it all went pear-shaped around 200 pages in (with a few hints of the way it was heading earlier in the book - but I was hoping I was wrong!) and I just found it all very strange. Once the witchcraft started in earnest, this book was a lost cause as far as I was concerned.

    • thewanderingjew says:

      This short, but very intense novel, takes place in Australia, in the second decade of the twentieth century, in the years just preceding the war to end all wars, World War I, and the years just afterwards. It is a murder mystery, infused with the supernatural. There are séances with visionaries, magic spells, amulets and spirits. The author’s prose will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. His descriptions of murder, the horrors of war and the ravages of disease [...]

    • Debbie says:

      In 1909 in Flint a small town in New South Wales Australia twelve year old Sarah Walker was brutally raped and murdered, she was discovered in a shed at Wilson’s Point by her father Nathaniel and her uncle Robert. Bloodied and holding the knife that killed her was her sixteen year old brother Quinn. Upon being found Quinn disappeared never to be seen again, of course the gossip mill was ripe and the rumors flying about how their relationship was a bit closer than should be.Ten years later batt [...]

    • Jennifer (JC-S) says:

      ‘On the day twelve-year-old Sarah Walker was murdered in 1909, a storm bullied its way across the western plains of New South Wales and unleashed itself on the flyspeck town of Flint.’Who murdered Sarah Walker? Sarah’s 16 year old brother Quinn was found next to her body with a knife in his hand. He fled.Ten years later – some three years after his mother had received a telegram stating that he is missing in France and presumed dead – Quinn is on his way home. Ex- sergeant Quinn Walker [...]

    • Jillwilson says:

      OK, would like to give this 4 and a half. I loved reading this book. It is so visual - the landcsape - Western NSW is like a character in the novel which is set just after WW1 in the horror of returning soldiers, the Spanish flu and a horrible small town rape-murder. It is described in many reviews as 'gothic' - which meant that I went and did some reserach about this term. This useful site listed a number of key ingredients: virtualsalt/gothicm. These included:-atmosphere of mystery and suspens [...]

    • Bruno Bouchet says:

      Being given a book for your birthday that you normally wouldn’t chose, is like being taken the movies by your parents when you don’t know what film you’re going to see. You have to work through your instinctive apathy to enjoy the experience. Thus it was for me with Bereft. I’d have never chosen this book and on the surface it seems typical of the miserable books the friend who gave it to me reads. (I’m always teasing him about his wrist-slitting bookshelves) A soldier returns from the [...]

    • Sarah says:

      In 1909 at the age of 16, Quinn Walker is accused of killing his 12 year old sister, Sarah, and flees the small rural community of Flint in fear of retribution. Ten years later at the end of World War I, he returns to the town a designated war hero, befriends a mysterious orphan girl by the name of Sadie Frost, and together they seek refuge in the hills and scrub surrounding the township. The unlikely duo set about righting the wrongs that continue to be committed against the vulnerable and inno [...]

    • Tara Calaby says:

      This is an excellent book and a powerful – if not at all times enjoyable – read. There is a poetic feel to the language and a tangibility to the landscapes in which the novel is set. While not getting caught up in description, Womersley still manages to paint a vivid scene inside the reader's head. The storyline is fairly simple, yet placed against the backdrop of the Great War and the Spanish flu epidemic, its tragedy is emphasised. A slight hint of magic realism adds to the book's overall [...]

    • ☕ Kimberly says:

      This was a breath-taking historical novel that takes place in the small town of Flint, Australia in the year 1909. Twelve year old Sarah Walker is raped and murdered. Her brother sixteen year old Quinn is discovered over the body with a knife. He runs away and is never seen again. Later, his parents receive a telegram that he died in action during the war. Quinn, now physically scared returns to Flint to seek answers and clear his name. Womersley spun a wonderful tale, with complex characters th [...]

    • Monique Mulligan says:

      Dark and brooding, Bereft by Chris Womersley was my introduction to a writer I met briefly in the Green Room at thePerth Festival Writer’s Week wrap up. Aptly dubbed 'Australian gothic', this tale of a boy who flees his home town after being accused of murdering his sister, returning years later without really knowing why, is evocative and eloquent. I was drawn in as much by the author's way with words as the bristling tension between characters and the tale itself. It's the kind of book where [...]

    • Kramer Thompson says:

      I enjoyed reading this one. The writing style was fairly engaging, as was the story. Sadie, a young girl and one of the main characters, was somewhat annoying, although that is (largely) explained by the circumstances in which she grew up. The other characters were all enjoyable (except the ones who were intentionally unpalatable). I also enjoyed the setting and found myself quite able to visualise the areas discussed in the book.

    • Jessica Lourigan says:

      Would have read it in one sitting if time allowed. Beautifully and simply told. A tale that captures you straight away. Two characters that tug at your heart. Love, loss and revenge.

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