Smithy is a retired shearer turned vineyard worker in his autumn years. It is hard graft, but Smithy has always worked with his hands. Physically all but destroyed after a lifetime of hard liquor, but now sober, he begins to see the world with new eyes, a meditative, singular figure in the town's bar on rowdy Friday nights. But clarity can be a curse. Finally confronting his past, overwhelmed by long-buried feelings of regret, nostalgia and loss, Smithy steps in to help a young woman in a desperate situation. A cautious friendship develops, but Charlotte's husband is widely suspected of murder, and Smithy begins to fear that he will pay a high price for his gallantry. Written with an authentic music, and infused with beauty, brutality and sadness The Vintage and the Gleaning is a compelling observation of men, women and country. A remarkably accomplished debut novel.

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