The Hands: An Australian Pastoral

The Hands An Australian Pastoral He didn t look like he could jump a bull but she knew he could It was all in the hands he d often explain The will The bloody mindedness On a cattle station that stretches beyond the horizon seven

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  • Title: The Hands: An Australian Pastoral
  • Author: Stephen Orr
  • ISBN: 9781743053430
  • Page: 336
  • Format: Paperback
  • He didn t look like he could jump a bull, but she knew he could It was all in the hands, he d often explain The will The bloody mindedness On a cattle station that stretches beyond the horizon, seven people are trapped by their history and the need to make a living Trevor Wilkie, the good father, holds it all together, promising his sons a future he no longer believesHe didn t look like he could jump a bull, but she knew he could It was all in the hands, he d often explain The will The bloody mindedness On a cattle station that stretches beyond the horizon, seven people are trapped by their history and the need to make a living Trevor Wilkie, the good father, holds it all together, promising his sons a future he no longer believes in himself The boys, free to roam the world s biggest backyard, have nowhere to go Trevor s father, Murray, is the keeper of stories and the holder of the deed Murray has no intention of giving up what his forefathers created But the drought is winning The cattle are ribs The bills keep coming And one day, on the way to town, an accident changes everything.

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    1. Every now and then I pick up a book and within a matter of pages — or perhaps sentences — I know this is exactly the right kind of book for me. That’s how I felt when I started reading Stephen Orr’s The Hands: An Australian Pastoral, which was longlisted for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award.The mood of the story, coupled with the great characters and economical prose style, hooked me from the start and I read it in one (very long) sitting. I rather suspect that come 31 December, it [...]

    2. In Stephen Orr’s The Hands: A Pastoral, a cattle property in the middle of the desert has been in the family for generations. But life on the farm has been hard for a long time. The drought is decimating the cattle herd and the stress of living and working on a property that it is no longer economically viable is starting to eat away at family relationships. Orr is known for his interest in and dissection of family dynamics and the handling of this subject matter makes the novel quite a mercil [...]

    3. Finish date: 16 November 2917Genre: fictionRating: CReview:Cover: The first thing I noticed on the cover is ‘An Australian Pastoral’. In this book a pastoral is simply and escape…place of retreat. Physical retreat (bush) for a simple way of life. Emotional retreat with 3 generations of men who have difficulty communicating their feelings.Place: where on can explore the past (Murray the grandfather) an imagine an alternative future (Trevor and his sons)Theme: This is a redemptive story of m [...]

    4. Last week, when I posted some Sensational Snippets from Stephen Orr’s new novel The Hands I was preoccupied by his evocation of a pitiless landscape in marginal country on the edge of the Nullarbor. But now that I have finished the novel, I have been mulling over his unsettling dissection of relationships in a particular rural context. I have been haunted by the sense of entrapment and the incapacity of the novel’s characters to express themselves and their inchoate desires.I’ll probably g [...]

    5. A remote cattle farm, an extended family, making the farm pay for its keep. What an engrossing read. It's my first ever book of Stephen Orr.

    6. ‘Trevor Wilkie knelt in front of the fence.’Trevor Wilkie and his family live on a remote cattle farm called Bundeena, in the west of South Australia. There are seven members of this extended family: Trevor, his wife Carelyn and their sons Harry and Aiden. Harry, aged 11, is still at home while Aiden, aged 17, is attending boarding school. The other family members are Trevor’s 74-year-old father, Murray, his sister Fay and her son Chris. Fay moved in with Chris after her marriage failed an [...]

    7. I have read all of Stephen Orr's books, so was eager about this one. It didn't disappoint. The way Orr depicts the character of the people, culture and landscapes of South Australia is remarkable. This story is about a family of arid farmers, somewhere in the remote west of the state, who are struggling against drought and global markets to keep the farm that has been in the family for generations. In the time of the story, there are three generations at the farm, who each have a different persp [...]

    8. A wonderful read which beautifully captures a farming family Its stresses, strains as well as the love; the tricky challenges regarding succession and expectations; the way harsh life can engender harsh attitudes. For my full review, check whisperinggums/2016/01/09/

    9. A compelling novel about family relationships and the hardships of living on an outback cattle station in rural South Australia.

    10. I am fascinated by all things Australian. Australia is the last frontier. This book is set on a cattle station that is failing. The drought doesn’t end and the banks refuse to lend any more to the failing station. The cattle are all ribs without adequate vegetation. Three generations of Wilkies live on the station. The oldest Wilkie holds the deed and refuses to sell. He has no intention of giving up what his forefathers created. The station has been in family hands forever. His son wants to m [...]

    11. Three generations struggling to keep a cattle station in the far outback desert country of Australia viable.The patriarch who wont let go, stubborn and blinkered, his son trying to keep the cattle alive and the farm afloat when his father disagrees with everything he is offering and his sons facing their uncertain future both on the land and in the family dynamic after the accident. This must be happening in many farms with more than one generation trying to live together - the old way versus pr [...]

    12. Set on a dry pastoral run held in one family for generations Orr details the harsh abrasive landscape as it abrades and corrodes the family holding on :Murray, an old bastard, holder of the land's title, and his son Trevor, who wants a different story's ending for his own sons.Raw, powerful and uncomfortable at times, the inner voices of the children, especially,illuminate a power struggle with devastating consequences.

    13. Worthy nominee for the Miles Franklin Award. So well written that it could be one of many outback families. If it was set in the Midwest of USA, it would present some very similar dilemas I love this book, but it's not for everybody. If you loved Shotgun Lovesongs you might love this one.

    14. I really enjoy reading Australian outback stories and this didn't disappoint. Having been on the land I related well to the story of drought, debt and the associated family struggles. It was not an uplifting story but that wasn't its purpose. The book kept me engaged throughout and I enjoyed it. Just loved the design of the cover with the solitary dwelling and the huge night sky.

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