4.16 (357 ratings by Goodreads)
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It has taken a lifetime for me to see that the more afraid people are of the darkness, the further into it they will flee. Nearing the end of her life, Meggie Tulloch takes up her pen to write a story for her granddaughter. It begins in the first years of the twentieth century, in a place where howling winds spin salt and sleet sucked up from icefloes. A place where lives are ruled by men, and men by the witchy sea. A place where the only thing lower than a girl in the order of things is a clever girl with accursed red hair. A place schooled in keeping secrets. Moving from the north-east of Scotland, to the Shetland Isles, to Fremantle, Australia, Elemental is a novel about the life you make from the life you are given.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 32mm | 415g
  • Carlton North, Australia
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1925228339
  • 9781925228335
  • 35,720

Review quote

'Amanda Curtin's prose has the quiet valiance of the 19th century masters, but it is in her mastery of empathy and grace that her work mirrors the master himself: Thomas Hardy.' -- Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen 'You can almost taste the salt on your tongue and feel the sea on your skin in this windswept saga ... An exhilaratingly raw, idiosyncratic voice.' -- Claire Allfree Daily Mail 'Elemental is an exquisite novel. Every word of it is tightly crafted and pregnant with possibility ... Yet, at the same time, there is something almost old fashioned and timeless in its deep perceptions and observations, and in the sheer, slow beauty of its prose.' The Compulsive Reader 'Assonantal and alliterative, and peppered with Scots and Doric vocabulary ... Meggie's voice is poetic and convincing, while a gentle metaphorical undertow invites the reader to make connections that may not be immediately apparent.' The Australian 'Elemental features a supple poetry of prose, a music that is both unique to time and circumstance and yet timeless and universal ... It's an example of the way language and dialect work like grace notes giving wings to a four-square dance.' The West Australian 'Elemental continues Amanda Curtin's fruitful fascination with memory, history and the generational legacies of family, following her debut novel The Sinkings and her collection of short stories Inherited...this is another moving novel from a unique Australian fiction writer.' Books+Publishing Magazine 'Meggie's voice is entirely convincing, and her life story is absorbing: the reader is soon pulled into the slow tide of the narrative, rolling with the rhythms and lilt of the Scottish tongue ... Curtin has produced a beautifully realised character in Meggie Tulloch, and Elemental is deeply satisfying and gracefully composed.' Australian Book Review 'One of my favourite books of the year ... A gripping read, historically detailed and a fascinating story.' Madhatter Bookshop
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About Amanda Curtin

Amanda Curtin is a critically acclaimed writer and book editor who lives in Perth, Western Australia.
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Rating details

357 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 40% (142)
4 42% (150)
3 14% (50)
2 3% (12)
1 1% (3)
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