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The Last Garden - Eva Hornung

The Last Garden

By: Eva Hornung

eBook | 1 May 2017 | Edition Number 1

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RRP $29.99



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'Astonishing...A strange, sombre, sobering triumph.' Sydney Morning Herald

The settlement of Wahrheit, founded in exile to await the return of the Messiah, has been waiting longer than expected. Pastor Helfgott has begun to feel the subtle fraying of the community's faith.

Then Matthias Orion shoots his wife and himself, on the very day their son Benedict returns home from boarding school.

Benedict is unmoored by shock, severed from his past and his future. Unable to be inside the house, unable to speak, he moves into the barn with the horses and chooks, relying on the animals' strength and the rhythm of the working day to hold his shattered self together.

The pastor watches over Benedict through the year of his crazy grief: man and boy growing, each according to his own capacity, as they come to terms with the unknowable past and the frailties of being human.

Eva Hornung, formerly published as Eva Sallis, was born in Bendigo and now lives in rural South Australia. Her first novel Hiam won the Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1997 and the Nita May Dobbie Award in 1999 while The Marsh Birds won the Asher Literary Award 2005. The highly acclaimed Dog Boy was shortlisted for numerous prizes and won the Prime Minister's Literary Award in 2010. The Last Garden won the Premier's Award in the 2018 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature.

'A cut black gem of a book: beautiful, compact, and sinister.' Andrew Fuhrmann, Best Books of 2017, Australian Book Review

'In luminous prose Hornung paints a closed religious community awaiting the overdue coming of their Messiah and a violently orphaned boy tutored by nature.' Adelaide Advertiser, Favourite Books of the Year

'Hornung writes with extraordinary force and amazing feat of imaginative power.' Canberra Times

'Vivid, visceral and disconcerting. The descriptions of animals are intensely empathetic, and the book raises fundamental and confronting questions about how our animal and our human selves can or should co-exist.' Books + Publishing

'Hornung is a writer of extraordinary power, using her omniscient narrator to inhabit the minds of Benedict's father, the grieving child and the faltering pastor, following the flux of their thoughts with elegance and precision...An unusual and hypnotic novel.' Age

'It's melancholy, beautiful, and deeply evocative. Michael Cathcart admitted to the writer that he knew he was going to love it from page one.' Michael Cathcart, Radio National

'Eva Hornung understands how critical human relationships with animals can be.' Guardian

'Yes, there are grotesque and sinister surprises aplenty in this weird prodigy of a book, but there is a lot of tenderness and an extraordinary beauty too.'Saturday Paper

'Melancholy, beautiful, and deeply evocative.' RN Books and Arts

'The Last Garden is by no means a long read but it is a big novel. Hornung's characters, in all their awed complexity, will stay with you long after the covers of this powerful book are closed.' Australian Book Review

'...Exquisite, glittering prose. This gentle, literary novel is a moving meditation on the heavy mist of grief, and will bring back a dark solace to the tormented heart.' Big Issue

'Deep despair was cushioned by gorgeous writing in Eva Hornung's The Last Garden.' Bram Presser, Sydney Morning Herald's Year in Reading

'An extraordinarily powerful, unsettling and at times deeply moving tale.' Sydney Review of Books


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