An expat photographer returns to Australia to make sense of his traumatic childhood and the disappearance of his former girlfriend.
Where the Light Falls tells the story of Andrew, a photographer in his 30s who comes back to Australia when he hears that his former girlfriend has disappeared. By the time he gets back, her body has been found, and everything points to suicide, though the coroner's findings are left open. As Andrew unravels the mystery of her death, he puts his current relationship at risk for reasons he barely understands. At the same time he meets a damaged teenage girl whom he knows will be a riveting subject for his new series of photos. As he struggles to understand why his ex's death has affected him so viscerally, Andrew realises that photography has become an obsession predicated on his need to hold on to the things he has lost in his life. He finds himself re- evaluating his past, his art, and what he wants his life to mean.
This is a stunning, gripping and deeply moving novel from a young writer whose star is on the rise.
About the Author
Gretchen Shirm is a writer and lawyer. She has been published in The Best Australian Stories, Etchings, Wet Ink, and Southerly. She was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists for her collection, Having Cried Wolf.
Shirm is a writer of deft skill. Her prose is gentle, uncluttered, and suffused with a compassionate, clear-eyed intelligence. Delicate, restrained and sensitive, Where the Light Falls is nonetheless steadfast in its examination of our responsibilities as artists, and as people. * Peggy Frew, author of HOPE FARM *
In lean, elegant prose Shirm explores the silences and mysteries that shape the artist's mind and work. The novel's landscapes are vivid and charged - the mystical Lake George, the frozen streets of a scarred Berlin. Against these atmospheric backdrops guilt and regret, memory and sensation, art and life collide. Through her acutely observed portrait of Andrew, Shirm asks how deeply the artist must know himself before he can make art from the lives of others. * Mireille Juchau, author of THE WORLD WITHOUT US *