I thought I’d pull together briefly some of the coverage of Thicker Than Water over the last few weeks:
- Full page review, by Elizabeth Lowry, in The Guardian.
Flyn deftly captures the looking-glass world of the antipodean landscape, so alien to European eyes… Her account is vivid with a sense of its strangeness; lyrically responsive to the odd local fauna and flora…
The urgent question, “How can things be fixed?” infuses every page. To her credit, Flyn is aware of the ugly likelihood that they can’t.
- Review, by Allan Massie, in The Scotsman, who took issue with the “fashionable” concept of ‘inherited guilt’, but otherwise found the book
full of interest and intelligently and evocatively written. [Flyn] gives a vivid picture of the landscape and way of life, and explores the complexities and silences of Australian history… Her book is not only continuously interesting, and the author’s character as pleasing and sympathetic as her eye for detail and oddity is sharp, it also offers a salutory lesson.
- Review in The Economist:
Tracing McMillan’s footsteps, she conjures up the landscape of Gippsland, plaiting together travelogue, history, diaries and reflections… McMillan has come to symbolise some of the very worst excesses of Australia’s violent colonial past. So it is a tribute to Ms Flyn’s empathy for his “moral ambivalence” that when she comes to write of his death—possibly suicide—aged 54, the reader feels pity as well as relief.
- A drawing together of reviews, in The Week
- Interview on Radio 4’s Midweek: full episode of Libby Purves’ Wednesday arts show is available to listen to here.
- Interview on BBC Scotland’s Culture Show with Janice Forsyth: available to listen to here.
- Interview on the brilliant Little Atoms podcast, available to listen to here
- A four-star review in the Scottish Field (not online)
- A review by Laura Deane in Transnational Literature
[D]eftly and sensitively handled… A relevant and timely interrogation of what it means to be a prominent figure in Australian colonial history, of how we remember the past, and whose achievements we celebrate or deny.
- A review by Gillian Mawdsley in Scottish Legal News
an original, challenging and thought-provoking book against a backdrop of little known Australian history
- A lovely review on Reading Matters
A remarkable — and readable — travelogue-cum-historical-biography… A highly entertaining narrative that feels more like a novel than a dull biography… [P]assages describing her travels into the Gippsland bush are full of beautiful, descriptive language about the plants and landscapes she encounters; I’d like to see Flyn tackle a nature book next.