Book review: The Beloved

The Beloved is wise, witty and completely delightful.
The Beloved is wise, witty and completely delightful.

BOOK: The Beloved
AUTHOR: Annah Faulkner
PUBLISHER: Picador (Pan Macmillan Aust)
RRP: $27.99

ANNAH Faulkner is winner of the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Emerging Authors.

Her story of Roberta (Bertie) Lightfoot moves from post-war Melbourne and Sydney in the 1950s to post-colonial frontier town, Port Moresby.

The unthinkable happens when Bertie brings the milk bottles in one morning -and drops them.

Feeling sick and in terrible pain, the doctor makes his pronouncement- polio.

We follow her long recovery and determination to walk again.

She also discovers her gift as an artist, painting and drawing the world around her amid the lush palettes of tropical New Guinea's vibrant colours.

But the family's harmony disintegrates as long-held secrets are revealed and jealousy and passion threaten Bertie's relationship with her mother.

Her story runs the gamut of an artist finding her identity against a backdrop of acutely observed family dynamics.

Faulkner's engaging and evocative narrative never falters; it is by turns wise, witty and completely delightful.

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