Explosive and Haunting: Take a Sneak Peek at Torched by Kimberley Starr

Explosive and Haunting: Take a Sneak Peek at Torched by Kimberley Starr


AURORA | Goddess of Morning
Protector of childbirth. Often portrayed in Roman art as a young woman with wings like the dawn sky. She killed her own son in a jealous rage.

from Images of Women in Roman Art, by Phoebe Wharton


You are not a firebug. If you killed anyone, I’d know. I know you. All those hours with your warm infant self damp against my shoulder, all that time cooking vegetables in ways you ate only once, all those afternoons cheering your team to football losses, frustrated over incomplete homework, holding you while you cried over grazed knees or the unkindness of schoolgirls – our shared umbilical cord must have left a residual connection, a spiritual navel. No one could be more sure of anything than me, of this. You are not a firebug.

Your committal hearing starts tomorrow. Of course I can’t sleep. I lie here, now and then reaching for my notebook or getting up to pace through the house. Like a trial, every bushfire tells a story. Every bushfire has a beginning, a middle, an end. A year ago, smoke from the Brunton fire twisted around our window frames, slid under the door, forced its fingers through keyholes. I’ve been unable to keep the outside world out since then. Fire didn’t destroy our home, but the rumours that came afterwards did. Attacks continue whenever I check my email or the news. Your lawyer says it isn’t wise for us to begin your defence yet. But I must defend you, get my thoughts in order. Every fire has a beginning, but not every fire is begun by an arsonist. Every trial has an ending, not every ending is just.

Continue reading the extract here…


Torched Author, Kimberley Starr Answers Five Quick Questions

Review | Author Related

21 May 2020

Torched Author, Kimberley Starr Answers Five Quick Questions

    Kimberley Starr's Torched is Powerful, Haunting and Timely

    Review | Our Review

    19 May 2020

    Kimberley Starr's Torched is Powerful, Haunting and Timely


      A small Yarra Valley town has been devastated by a bushfire, and Reefton Primary School principal Phoebe Warton can't sleep. She's the single mother of eighteen-year-old Caleb who is accused of starting the fire – on purpose. Twelve people are dead, students from her school among them; only a monster would cause such carnage. But where was her son was that day? No one knows but Caleb, and he's not talking.Against mounting community rage, Phoebe sets out to clear her son. But every avenue leads back to Caleb. Why did he vanish from his Country Fire Authority shift? Who else was at the abandoned goldmine that day? Why is Caleb refusing to speak?Phoebe will be forced to confront the nature of guilt and redemption, and decide what boundaries she is willing to cross to save the son she loves.Torched is an explosive, haunting and compelling crime novel about mothers and sons and the ties that bind them.
      Kimberley Starr
      About the author

      Kimberley Starr

      Kimberley Starr is an Australian novelist and teacher whose novels have won and been shortlisted for multiple literary awards, including the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the Text Publishing YA Prize.She lives with her sons and their labrador in semi-rural Victoria and is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing.

      Books by Kimberley Starr


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