Our featured writer for July: Eliza Henry-Jones
Every month, we do a spotlight feature on an Australian author and Eliza Henry-Jones is our chosen author for July. Her debut novel, In the Quiet, is a moving story about the heartache of letting go.
What’s the book about?
Cate Carlton has recently died, yet she is able to linger on, watching her three young children and her husband as they come to terms with their life without her on their rural horse property. As the months pass and her children grow, they cope in different ways, drawn closer and pulled apart by their shared loss. And all Cate can do is watch on, seeing their grief and how – heartbreakingly – they begin to heal.
What did our reviewer say?
Our reviewer writes: “ In the Quiet is a gentle story, but it doesn’t shy away from the gritty, difficult parts of grief and growing up. It isn’t sickly sweet or overly sentimental, and Henry-Jones is especially skilled at writing teenage characters and capturing all of the mess, uncertainty and heartbreak of that age. This is an accomplished first book from an exciting new talent. I fell in love with it slowly, over the course of many chapters. It’s a quiet book (appropriately named) and an utterly lovely one.”
What’s the story behind the book?
We asked Henry-Jones about what part horses played in writing her book. She replied: “My own experiences of grief have been tightly entwined with horses. It’s horse books that I’ve been drawn to read for comfort, and horses that I’ve sketched into the margins of notebooks and the corners of newspapers. I’ve worked as an equine therapist, using horses in therapy sessions for families and vulnerable children. Wanting to explore grief and loss, it seemed natural for me to do so alongside the flicking of tails, the drumming of hooves and the smell of grass and grains and sweat.”
What are the last five books Henry-Jones has read?
We also asked Henry-Jones about the books she’s more recently read and she explained that this year she’d set a reading challenge of sorts: “When I look back at the books I read in school and at university, they’re predominantly from male writers. So, this year I’m reading all books by women. And what a wonderful year of reading it’s been.”