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The Burial

The Burial It is the dawn of the twentieth century in Australia and a woman has done an unspeakable thing Twenty two year old Jessie has served a two year sentence for horse rustling As a condition of her releas

  • Title: The Burial
  • Author: Courtney Collins
  • ISBN: B008YP2YDO
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • It is the dawn of the twentieth century in Australia and a woman has done an unspeakable thing.Twenty two year old Jessie has served a two year sentence for horse rustling As a condition of her release she is apprenticed to Fitzgerald Fitz Henry, who wants a woman to allay his loneliness in a valley populated by embittered ex soldiers Fitz wastes no time in blackmailinIt is the dawn of the twentieth century in Australia and a woman has done an unspeakable thing.Twenty two year old Jessie has served a two year sentence for horse rustling As a condition of her release she is apprenticed to Fitzgerald Fitz Henry, who wants a woman to allay his loneliness in a valley populated by embittered ex soldiers Fitz wastes no time in blackmailing Jessie and involving her in his business of horse rustling and cattle duffing.When Fitz is wounded in an accident he hires Aboriginal stockman, Jack Brown, to steal horses with Jessie Soon both Jack Brown and Jessie are struggling against the oppressive and deadening grip of Fitz.One catastrophic night turns Jessie s life on its head and she must flee for her life From her lonely outpost, the mountains beckon as a place to escape First she must bury the evidence But how do you bury the evidence when the evidence is part of yourself Inspired by the life of Jessie Hickman, legendary twentieth century bushranger, The Burial is a stunning debut novel, a work of haunting originality and power.

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    1 thought on “The Burial

    1. It is 1921 and in the Australian bush, Jessie is a wanted woman in the disappearance of her husband. She has committed crimes under other names, cattle stealing, and armed theft among them. She has served time and she is now only 26 years old and now on the run. This part of the story is all true, and the author takes it from here.She tells her story in a very unusual and risky way. It requires the reader to buy into the thought that Jessie's dead and buried child is our narrator. The story star [...]

    2. Wow! This book has truly taken me by surprise. From the shocking events on the first chapter I knew from that moment on that it was going to be an extraordinary piece of storytelling. This story is loosely based on the legendary bush ranger Jessie Hickman. Jessie, 22 year old, is serving a sentence of 2 year in prison for horse rustling. Upon her release she is placed in the hands of a guardian, Fitz, to work on his remote property in the Hunter Valley, to ‘break in’ and training wild horses [...]

    3. ‘If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell?’This novel was inspired by the life of Elizabeth Jessie Hickman, a female bushranger born in 1890, who went bush in the 1920s after killing her third husband. This is Courtney Collins’s debut novel and re-imagines aspects of Jessie Hickman’s life. The narrator is Jessie Hickman’s buried child: “I should not have seen the sky turn pink or the day seep in. I should not have seen my mother’s pale arms sweep up and heap wet earth upo [...]

    4. When twenty-two-year-old Jessie was released from prison after serving two years for horse rustling, she immediately began working for Fitzgerald Henry (Fitz) on his property in the vast bush of NSW Australia. This was a condition of her release; she had no say in it at all. Fitz was a cruel and harsh man, and his treatment of Jessie was such that she was desperate to escape her tormenter. When Aboriginal stockman Jack Brown was also hired by Fitz, the two became kindred spirits. Thrust together [...]

    5. A real Australian gem!This book is quite extaordinary. It gripped me right from the start, thanks to harrowing prologue and a simple trick in narrative. Inspired by the life of Jessie Hickman, a legendary outlaw in twentieth century Australia, this debut sort of tells the "making" of Jessie the lady bushranger. The prose is beautiful and the vivid and poetic descriptions of bush life amid the adversity are unmatched. We meet Jessie, a woman with a scarred past beset by the misfortune of being fo [...]

    6. I really, really enjoyed this. The writing reminded me a bit of early Emma Donoghue (Slammerkin, my fave). I wish that there was a photo of the real-life Jessie, though. Highly recommend for lovers of historical fiction and murder.

    7. I expected to like this book and looked forward to it. A woman horse thief in the mountains of AU. Cool, right? But well, it was rather weird.First of all; it's told from the viewpoint of a dead baby. It took me a bit to get adjusted to this idea. It never grew on me, mind you; I thought it strange throughout the entire narrative. I mean, you're dead, never learned to speak, talk, understand anything, so how in the world can you tell us anything? If you didn't exist, you can't even understand wh [...]

    8. Dark, fast-paced, and gripping this mesmerizing debut novel will be the defining definition of Australian noir. From the first line spoken, “If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell?”, to the last line, “She said: I am here.”, the tender carefully affectionate narration by a dead baby of her mother’s life was a risky chance by the author may make the reader uncomfortable at first but so surprised me by how much empathy I had for the mother, the story’s main protagonist. It [...]

    9. The Burial is a poetic, reimagined tribute to the extraordinary life of legendary Australian 'lady bushranger', Jessie Hickman. Set in the 1920's, as Jessie flees the law after murdering her brutal husband, this is a brooding novel narrated by Jessie's dead newborn child, whose spirit remains tethered to her mother.I admire the lyrical nature of this novel with it's spare yet evocative phrasing. Collins paints incredible scenes, Jessie lying bleeding by the river barely conscious, the menace and [...]

    10. This is basically an American Western story but set in Australia, oh, and the outlaw is a young woman! I picked this up because it was based on a true Australian woman/legend Jessie Hickman. This is a case where one bad choice led to another and another, increasing in scope along with the severity of the consequences, until she was seemingly powerless to alter the course of her life. I hoped for more development of her relationship with Jack Brown but I'm always a sucker for a good sprinkling of [...]

    11. From road narrative to heroine's odyssey, Courtney Collins' The Untold spins a sprawling tale of life, death, and departure. Once we accept the surreal nature of the story's narrator, a dead and buried baby, the sheer gravitational momentum of Collins' writing propels us into a state of waking-dream wonder. The writing is alive, charge with vitality galvanic. It breathes, it moves, its pulse is the pealing resonance of distant thunder. "ere were constellations wrapped in the visible sky and the [...]

    12. I love a good western. I was very excited to read this book. I just knew that Jessie was going to be a strong female heroine. Ok, so I did not realize that the narrator would be voiced by Jessie's dead baby. This creeped me out a little. After a while I got used to it. However the story was dry. There was not enough personality going into the story. It was kind of hard to feel sorry for Jessie when she could so easily slit her baby's throat. This was disturbing and a hard image for me to get out [...]

    13. Review will come later head's still back at the mountainLater:The story and the writing make this a great book! The writing was so detailed and descriptive that I felt I was in the story.The beginning was very different, but within a few pages, I had gotten used to the narrator and the style of writing. I won't say specifics, but I liked the author's choice of narrator. It made for interesting storytelling. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more from this author! I definitely rec [...]

    14. Inspired by legendary female bushranger Jessie Hickman, The Burial is a masterful and multilayered tale of birth, death and survival. Combining artfully structured narrative with a unique voice, a highly visceral setting and a dark undertone, this is a novel to savour. A stunning debut; haunting and lyrical.

    15. The poetry of the prose in this book absolutely captured my imagination. Poignant and beautiful. A fascinating story of an Australian bush rangeress. Such a pleasant change to read about a wild, independent, uncompromising woman who doesn't need a man to survive. A wonderful read I will one day go back to.

    16. A terrific read! hauntingly powerful it is inspired by the life of the Australian female bushranger Jessie Hickman. Her struggle for survival is gripping & is narrated by her dead daughter. Unusual, but it works.

    17. Sometimes, authors take huge risks that can completely make or break a story, and I don't think I've seen many risks as big as the chosen narrator for this one. Having a dead infant narrate a story should never work, and yet it absolutely does here. It jostles the reader and keeps them off-kilter from the start. It's a jolt to the system, but the lyrical quality of the language pulls one on and drives the reader forward in spite of this unsettling feeling. It steals the breath. It's visceral and [...]

    18. Not something I would normally read, but read it for bookclub and was very moved by both the characters and the story. Interesting from a craft point of view RE pacing.

    19. Dark and violent, The Untold lays bare the brutality of a woman's life in 1920s Australia, though in a very quiet way. The prose is meditative, understated; the most shocking of events unfold with an air of inevitability. I can see why Collins has been compared to Cormac McCarthy—if I'm being honest, that blurb was the main reason I picked up her book. (Have I mentioned here before that Cormac McCarthy is my jam? I have owned a copy of Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West for at [...]

    20. 1. As Clear as CrystalExplain your opinion of the author’s writing style. Are his arguments clear? Are his directions confusing? In his fiction, does he balance internal character development and external action to keep the story moving? Overall, do the author’s word choice and sentence structure make you want to read more?The author's argument was very clear and you could tell the point she was trying to get across to the readers which was to never be afraid and live life to fullest no matt [...]

    21. "If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell?" So begins the first chapter of The Untold, a most compelling, lyrical, debut novel. I had my doubts about a story told by a dead baby (yes), but was soon quite caught up in the fascinating tale of Jessie, a near wild woman just one step ahead of the law and a pack of lawless vigilantes. Jessie's journey is more about action than about thought, so, while you are privy to her planning, you catch only rare glimpses of her emotion, held at bay by [...]

    22. Courtney Collins' first novel is a real page turner! What makes the pages fly so quickly is not only the well crafted story, but the lyrical language in which it is told. Australia being my adopted home, I have very much enjoyed the literature. It is rife with stories of those who heroically overcame the odds, and who survived, not only a brutality and injustice they did not deserve, but also the harsh landscape into which they try to escape. What are the qualities that make this possible? They [...]

    23. 'Australian Gothic' has begun! Another amazing 'first' Australian novel that I found myself looking forward to each night as 'bed-time' approached. It's unusual beginning made me wonder how the narrative voice could be maintained without becoming 'spooky' but Collins carried-it-off extremely well by swapping narrators along the way and by recalling events preceding the starting point and then going beyond it. The ending nicely connected with the start and the characters were consistent. Collins [...]

    24. This is a piece of fictional work based on an actual historical subject narrated by a dead baby. Yes, you read that correctly. What?!?! I commend the author for trying some thing very new here, but geez, no, this doesn't work for me. Also this is isn't a constant through out the book, some times the story is just told by the author, then poof, dead baby is back. Perhaps she is trying to give a softer mother side to a horse/cow stealing, rough living, main character. This is not a character who c [...]

    25. Courtney Collins' The Burial is such an extraordinarily powerful book it's hard to believe it was written by a first-time novelist. From the opening line — "If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell?" — to the closing sentence, I was held in thrall by the exquisite prose, the luscious descriptions of the bush and a cast of curious well-drawn characters. But most of all I was captivated by the storytelling.To read the rest of my review, please visit my blog.

    26. I read a review that likened Courtney Collins' writing to that of Cormac McCarthy. I am a big fan of McCarthy and while I found some passages to echo McCarthy, I do not think that review is accurate. I could have gone without the narration from the dead child. I think the fact that Collins' built this story on a rumor in Australia is enough for the title. Having the dead child narrate was a bit redundant. That being said, "The Untold" is an easy read. For a first novel, this is well written. I w [...]

    27. Mmm, this was unusual as part of the story was told from the point of view of the central character's baby, which she murders in the first chapter. The book certainly took the reader into the world of the Australian bush at the beginning of the 1900s, with the hardship of the land made clear. Think cattle stealing, murder, people living in isolated huts in the bush, little law and order. But somehow the voices of some of the characters ie the gang of young cattle rustlers, didn't work for me and [...]

    28. A powerful story full of intrigue and drama, very well written - the prose is visual and arresting and quite extraordinary in places. Great storytelling with characters you're instantly on side with. Most of all, I loved the symbolism and how the main character, Jessie, had to bury her innocence, as it were, in order to survive. I'm quite in awe of this writer's achievement, for a first novel it's really impressive.

    29. Hmm. This book has a number of flaws, and IMO doesn't deserve the accolades it's had, but it's a lively pageturner if you can ignore the rubbishy narrative device and you're in the mood to tolerate a series of increasingly unconvincing plot points. To see my review please visit anzlitlovers/2015/06/19/th

    30. I was on a panel with Courtney Collins, so I was delighted to get to read her novel. It's been compared to Cormac McCarthy, and the comparison is apt: flight through a bleak, unforgiving landscape that serves as almost another character in the story. Collins's prose is spare and brutal, and the mountains of Australia came vividly alive. (I may never look at a kangaroo the same way again.)

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