The sound of horses’ hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn’t totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn’t died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he’s pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once known as One Tree.
Beginning between the wars, Foal’s Bread takes you to a forgotten Australia, where backwoods showjumpers risk their necks (and those of their horses) to clear obstacles up to eight feet high, where hardscrabble farmers scratch a meagre living from the earth, and where cruelty and tenderness are equally present in their lives.
This long-awaited novel was been shortlisted for every major literary award in 2012. Heartfelt and devastating, it is a masterpiece from a writer at the height of her powers.
Winner, Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction, 2012