Now she listens, perhaps unwisely, to a prickling beneath her skin. It’s a sensation she hasn’t felt since she was a child. There’s some kind of presence in the air, something intangible.
Pia Ricci has come to Port Hedland to escape her past and rediscover the town of her youth. Running a busy dental practice should be enough to keep her busy, and free of attachments. But then Pia discovers a bundle of money and men’s clothing buried near a bloodwood tree outside town, and her life starts to change.
Joachim, too, has come to Port Hedland to escape his own past. A nurse, he wants to leave behind his mother’s death, but one of his patients forces him to revisit his mother’s illness. Joachim and Pia feel an immediate attraction, but as they engage they each struggle with the changes around them and with the ghosts of their pasts.
Beneath the Bloodwood Tree is a passionate story of life, death and betrayal. Set in the brooding, dusty north of Western Australia, the novel takes a hold of the reader, dragging him or her through the physical and emotional landscape peopled by the characters.
Author Julienne van Loon’s debut novel Road Story won the 2004 Vogel Award. This, her second novel, continues her development as a writer of absorbing, yet challenging reads.
Beneath the Bloodwood Tree, by Julienne van Loon
Allen & Unwin, 2008
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