Monday, March 5, 2012

Review of Bereft by Chris Womersley

Chris Womersley
SilverOak Publishing
Release date 5-1-2012
272 pages

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 battered by war, by guilt and by a need for retribution Quinn returns to Flint to prove his innocence and to make sure the guilty party pays for what they did to him, his sister Sarah and his family. He arrives to find his mother on death’s door by the epidemic that has taken thousands of lives so far and to find that the bounty on his innocent head is still there. Quinn discovers and befriends a strange young girl the same age as his Sarah was when she was taken from him. She is also being pursued by the same monster that took Sarah. Quinn doesn’t know why but he is determined to protect her at any and all costs as together they search for the way back from madness.
Chris Womersley has given us a most important piece of historical literary fiction, with an economy of words he spins his tale of heartbreak, war, plague and healing. He uses a narrative that is beautiful in it’s descriptions of horrible events. And he gives this contemporary reader a realistic look at a time in history that rarely crossed my mind. His expertise as a writer comes across with his prose like dialogue and took me on a journey through the eyes of a man ravaged by his past and his part in battle by emphasizing the post traumatic stress syndrome that this WWI vet suffered while he battled the demons from a childhood event that never should have happened and at the same time showed me the world ravaged by a virus that we treat with a shot. His characters are all wonderfully depicted from Quinn and Sadie to Mary all the way down to our villain.
It’s a novel that I would recommend to any lover of fiction, historical or otherwise, it’s a read that will find itself on your keep shelf to be revisited time and again and will find itself in wrapping paper for gift giving as well.
Thank you Mr. Womersley for the best novel I’ve read in the genre for a long while.
Pre-purchase the novel here visit the author's website here


  1. this sounds so good....*nods head and opens new window to B&N to buy book*

  2. This sounds really good. I'm going to have to get a hold of it.

  3. Good review. It sounds like a book that really will pull me into the storyline.