The Loud Earth

Elisabeth Murray

The Loud Earth
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The Loud Earth

Elisabeth Murray

A recluse lives in a mountain cabin above a lakeside tourist town. Acquitted of the brutal murder of her parents, she remains guilty in the eyes of the town. Shut away from their fear and anger, her world is reduced to the landscape around her: the mist across the mountains, the sway of bayonet grass, the clear cry of a falcon. And above all the lake - its colours and rhythms, the answers it seems to hold.

But one night a young woman arrives on her porch. A stranger to the town, Hannah doesn’t know the stories told about this outcast. A romance blossoms. But the recluse’s violent past won’t stay buried, Hannah unearths memories of shadows and blood. Amid dark cellars and crisp ski runs, rushing water in grottoes and whiskey by firelight, a call rises from the deep of the lake.

For Fans Of Cate Kennedy, Flannery O'Connor, Elizabeth Jolley, Romy Ash, Amy Espeseth, Jeanette Winterson, David Vann


Following the release of Holly Childs’s No Limit, Elisabeth Murray’s The Loud Earth is the second book from Hologram, a special publishing project by Express Media. Hologram was designed to promote long-form writing by writers under 30, providing a stepping-stone between being published in journals and producing a full-length manuscript. Hologram editor Johannes Jakob describes novellas as being an attractive option for readers, as well as writers: ‘we thought it was a pretty good proposition … to have something that you could read in an afternoon, and only costs $15.’

Well, reading Murray’s The Loud Earth makes for a deliciously tense afternoon. The novella is set in a lakeside tourist town, the unnamed protagonist is a recluse, accused of brutally murdering her parents. Acquitted by the legal system, she remains guilty in the eyes of the town. When a young woman, Hannah, arrives at her door, a romance blossoms between the two, but it soon becomes clear that the terrors from the past won’t stay buried for long.

Murray has written a dark, gothic meditation on loneliness and anxiety. The Loud Earth is full of poetic, unsettling imagery; the descriptions of the landscape, and the horrors it holds, are stunning. This is a book you can read in one sitting, but the intimate secrets revealed will linger long after you’ve turned the final page.

Stella Charls works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.

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