After the Fire, a Still Small Voice – Evie Wyld

I seem to have fallen into the pattern recently of waiting several days after finishing a book to write about it. I’m not sure how that evolved or if it works or not but I definitely didn’t want to do that with this book. I finished it this afternoon and have been thinking of how to talk about it since, while it is still fresh.

For me, Evie Wyld’s debut novel is clever, flawlessly written and perfectly paced.

Set in Australia, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice is about the lives of two men, told in alternate chapters. Frank and Leon’s stories take place over different time periods but deal with similar issues.

The story opens with Frank, escaping the city for some time out and heading for a rural coastal town and the sanctuary of his grandparents deserted shack. The stunning landscape and opportunity for respite balanced against the harshness and hidden dangers of the bush are vividly portrayed.

Leon’s story is one of the effects of war; directly, in Vietnam and through his father in Korea.

Evie Wyld’s gentle writing style may lure the reader into thinking there is not a lot going on but actually the book is full of activity and raises all sorts of issues such as land rights, racism, the rights and wrongs of war and painful relationships. These subjects are effortlessly weaved into the fabric of the story and introduced in a way that invites rather than forces the reader to address them.

My favourite books tend to be those that either have a gripping plot or I find particularly moving. This book didn’t really tick either of those boxes but I still admired and appreciated it and enjoyed it very much.

Read for the Global reading and Support your local library challenges.

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9 responses to “After the Fire, a Still Small Voice – Evie Wyld

  1. I am glad u liked this book even though it was not perfect. I have this one (still unread). I hope u r enjoying Cutting for Stone? Loved that book!

  2. You’ve sold me! This sounds really interesting; I’m glad that you reviewed it. 🙂

  3. Diane – i hope you enjoy it.I’ll look out for your thoughts on both books. I could have gone on and on about Evie Wyld’s book but wanted to be careful about spoilers.

    I’ve just started Cutting For Stone – great to hear you loved it. I’m finding it quite detailed at the moment but can see the potential definitely..

  4. I thought it was written beautifully too, but agree that it was too quiet and gentle. I’m sure a lot of people will love it, but I need a lot more action.

    Cutting for Stone is a big improvement – I only have 50 pages left and love it. I wonder how long our habit of reading the same books will last?! LOL!

  5. Jackie – I noticed our little pattern of books as well!! I too think a lot of people will love this book but can also understand the slow pace not being for everyone.

    I’m pleased you are loving Cutting For Stone and look forward to your review. I’m just about to start part 2, not hooked yet but my interest is growing.. I’m trying not to get sidetracked by other books. I think this one will be best read on its own.

  6. Living in Australia I like to keep up with what is being published by Australian authors but this one is a bit different in that the author is English, writing about Australia. I read that she visited here often as a child.

    Your review (and Jackie’s at Farmlanebooks) has piqued my interest but I think it sounds like it will have to be at a time when I am in the mood for a quiet, contemplative sort of book. And on a more superficial note – I just love the cover!

  7. Samantha – Isn’t the cover gorgeous! I actually picked this book up thinking Evie Wyld was an Australian author and then realised that like you say she is English. From her writing it sounds like knows Australia well, either that or she has a wonderful imagination.

    I hope you do enjoy it when you choose to read it. Definitely a book suitable for a quiet mood.

    Thank you for commenting 0:)

  8. I think Wyld grew up in Australia, which is why her evocation of the landscape is so vivid.

    I thought this was a beautifully written and depicted book and one whose characters and the rawness of their emotions will resonate with me for some time.

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