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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Journey to the Stone Country/Miller, Alex/Paper/174114146X/S055-C2
Allen & Unwin
Journey to the Stone Country moves from the great southern city of Melbourne to the forbidding and beautiful isolation of the high ranges of the Bowen Basin, the ancient heartland of the Jangga people in remote North Queensland.
Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Beck retreats in confusion and pain to the supposed sanctuary of her old family home in tropical Townsville. There she meets and begins to work with Bo Rennie, an ex-stockman and Jangga. Annabelle is increasingly intrigued by Bo's modest assurances that he holds the key to her future and she sets out with him on a path of recovery that leads her back to her childhood. On the journey, secrets are uncovered which have remained buried in her family for a generation or more. The terrible moral force of these secrets will challenge the possibility of happiness with this man.
As they draw closer to the place of their origins, so the deeply roofed contradictions embedded within the cultures and lives of Annabelle Beck and Bo Rennie are exposed layer by layer. Can their love grow, or even survive, with the terrible knowledge that comes into their possession at the end of their journey?
With the consummate artistry of a novelist working at the height of his powers, Miller convinces us that the stone country is not only a remote and exotic location in North Queensland, but is also an unvisited place within each of us. Journey to the Stone Country is a deeply disquieting story of our own time. Its appearance confirms Miller's reputation as one of Australia's most intelligent and uncompromising writers.
Winner of the 2003 Miles Franklin Award.