Gemmell has written a powerful novel that does not flinch from strong emotion or description to provide a luminous insight into the fringes of Australian society and the long, dark night of the soul The Times The desolate landscapes of central Australia, eerily beautiful and cruel, are superbly evoked in Cleave. Nikki Gemmells heroine, Snip Freeman, is a painter who, as a child, lived in the centre until her father Bud deserted her . . . Prompted by her grandmother, she heads west from Sydney with a stranger, Dave, in search of Bud, her own childhood and, perhaps, a new life. Gemmell writes brilliantly about the journey, about Snips insistence that she feels lust, not love, for Dave, and later about Snip and her father marooned in the desert, both hallucinating as they run out of water and hope Sunday Time s

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