Soon by Lois Murphy
Partly inspired by the true story of Wittenoom, the ill-fated West Australian asbestos town, Soon is the story of the death of a haunted town, and the plight of the people who either won’t or simply can’t abandon all they have ever had. With finely wrought characters and brilliant storytelling, it is a taut and original novel, where the people we come to know and those who are drawn to the town’s intrigue must ultimately fight for survival.
A stunning work of sustained tension, especially the ending of this book. Although in many ways a standard realist novel, the book blends Sci-Fi and thriller, as well as being very, very well written. There are astute observations on character, and a plausible, weary, narrator. The book’s entwinement of two stories that do not come together until the final pages that link abandonment, and revenge. If the greatest evil we commit is indifference to the suffering of others, whether loved ones or those in the news, this book will make you think for days about the price we should pay for lack of care.
Lois Murphy has travelled widely, most recently spending six years exploring Australia in a homemade 4WD truck, working mainly in small or remote towns, before settling in Darwin for a number of years. She has won a handful of prizes for her writing, including the Northern Territory Literary Award and the Sisters in Crime Best New Talent Prize. The majority of Soon, her first novel, was written while living in a caravan park in Carnarvon. Lois currently lives in Melbourne, Victoria.