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Autumn Laing by Alex Miller
Fantastic. Alex Miller is now one of my new favourite authors. This is the first of Alex's books I have read and I am truly grateful to him for his brilliant story telling. Thank you Alex for throwing me into the depth of Autumn Laing and Pat Donlan's lives. This is a story loosely based on Sydney Nolan and Sunday Reed and those involved in the art scene at the time when Sydney was about to come onto the scene in Australia. It is a clever and wonderful piece of writing. It is a story of love and betrayal, grief and acceptance, art and poetry, and memory.
I really love the way this story is told by an old woman remembering as she writes. We learn so much of this woman, Autumn Laing, as Alex gives us her in her adult years that it is hard not to feel the pain and guilt she carried with her near to her death bed.
This is a slow novel, to be consumed the way that food should be consumed. Each word, phrase, and paragraph needs to be read, felt and understood. It is clear that Alex is a thoughtful writer, he understands, lives his characters deeply. He gave us the beautiful unconditional love of Arthur, Autumn's husband and a wonderful understanding of each of the group of artists who would collect at the Old Farm. A truly outstanding novel.