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Unbecoming : There are secrets in the wild country they call midlife - TBD


There are secrets in the wild country they call midlife


Paperback | 1 September 2020

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You can do one night, Jo reminds herself as she follows five women into the Australian bush. Where are they going to sleep? And pee?

Jo probably should have let her husband Frank know. Just in case. Because you never know what can happen in the wild. While on her three-month marriage-and-motherhood Sabbatical in the country, Jo bumps into an old friend Fiona who invites her on a 'sacred' silent walk to mark her 57th birthday - the first since her husband Ben died. The last thing Jo wants is to share anything about herself - these are Fiona's friends, not hers. And what's she going to say? That her young adult children have made life choices she doesn't understand? That she has no idea who she is anymore? That everything is falling apart - even her 'happy marriage' to Frank?

But the unexpected intrusion of a young backpacker into their secret location, unleashes powerful and conflicting emotions in each woman, provoking conversations and confidences that stray into the shadowlands of motherhood, the mysteries of midlife, the future of monogamy and mother Earth.

Under the canopy of the open night sky, around a small, tended fire, the women share wise counsel, spill their secrets and offer up their stories, each exposing corners of truth the others need to hear.

Unbecoming is a funny, heartbreaking and provocative homage to the midlife unravelling as women on the brink of elderhood speak honestly about their lives and wonder what the hell to do with vaginas that are not ready to be put out to pasture just yet.
Industry Reviews
‘Joanne Fedler’s wild words always make me see the ordinary with fresh eyes. Unbecoming is no different. If I didn’t already realise that time is running out, then this book has made it achingly clear. Yet Joanne’s supreme gift is to reveal this with humour and compassion, fury and grace. Her characters are so real they have become part of me. Her insightful prose burrows deep into the heart of issues we all grapple with. Unbecoming is the book about women, men, friendship, love, lust, death and menopause — and so much else — that you have been waiting for.’
Katerina Cosgrove, author of Bone Ash Sky and Zorba the Buddha

‘Fedler has that quality that is required to write with bracing authenticity: fearlessness. A refusal to look away, to make nice, to talk nice. The world needs these writers, the one who will look into the shadows for us. Unbecoming gives all the women who were teenagers in the Eighties pause to consider our contributions, to value our achievements, to face what we’ve failed to do, and to draw the breath we need to breathe into our children, who will carry the tools for making the world better, into the future for us. She does this lightly and with lyricism. Unbecoming is an intimate conversation on the edge of the burning world.’
Karin Schimke, award-winning poet and translator, essayist and editor

‘Breathtaking, magical and raw in its honesty, Unbecoming exposes the extent of women’s sacrifices as wives and mothers, questioning whether a woman’s body or heart is ever truly her own. This book is a celebration of the natural world, the magic of storytelling and the healing power of mutual witnessing. It is an important rite of passage for women in midlife, and a torchlight for younger women to follow.’
Faith Agugu, psychotherapist, visionary founder of Silver Sirens and sister mermaid

‘Passionate, moving and breathtakingly honest. Joanne Fedler is a perceptive and provocative writer who, with kindness, tenderness and generosity, explores the pain and liberation of leaving youth behind, the confusion and exhilaration of mothering adult children and the yearning for self after a lifetime of nurturing others.’
Suzanne Leal, bestselling author of The Teacher’s Secret and The Deceptions

‘Insightful, tender, warm, and fierce, Unbecoming captures the fire and the pain of women in a time of transition. Wisdom and sisterhood and gratitude to the great Earth Mother mark every page of this delicious book.’
Lavanya Sankaran, author of The Red Carpet and The Hope Factory, winner of Barnes and Noble's Discover New Writers and Poets and Writers' Best First Fiction Award

‘Watch out, I laughed so loudly I loosened up something I didn’t know was buried there. Unbecoming is a book of comic, startling wisdom that raises up a mixture of mirth and melancholy from neglected places in your belly. I thought it would be a quick read but found myself deliberately stalling to catch every inward giggle and every bare truth for the sake of my own healing. While the character, Jo is throwing up her hands in the middle of her life, we feel the beautiful agony of her rebirth, not only for Jo, but for our earth. In its thoughtful, hilarious way, Unbecoming gives certainty and shape to a tide that has the power to save the planet in its very last minute - the rise of the feminine.’
Tracey Farren, author of novels and screenplays about people with their backs against the wall including Whiplash, shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award and the multiple award winning feature film, Tess

Unbecoming delves into one woman’s psyche as she questions her marriage, changing body, friendships and what it means to live a full, rich life. Joanne Fedler plunges the reader deeply into characters who are wonderfully flawed, deeply emotional and entirely relatable.’
Abigail Carter, author, The Alchemy of Loss: A Young Widow’s Transformation

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