Catching Teller Crow
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Catching Teller Crow

Ambelin Kwaymullina, Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since she died. Her dad, a detective, is the only one who can see and hear her - and he’s drowning in grief. But now they have a mystery to solve together. Who is Isobel Catching, and what’s her connection to the fire that killed a man? What happened to the people who haven’t been seen since the fire? As Beth unravels the mystery, she finds a shocking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another.

Told in two unforgettable voices, this gripping novel interweaves themes of grief, colonial history, violence, love and family.

Review

Catching Teller Crow is a story told through two unique voices, both belonging to young Aboriginal women. Beth Teller has died in a tragic accident but she stays with her father, who is aware of her presence. They can communicate, and, unable to leave him alone with his grief, she accompanies him as he goes about his work as a detective in a small town. Together they investigate a series of dark mysteries that have emerged after an incident of arson and a suspicious death at a children’s home.

They meet Isobel Catching, and the astonishing story that Isobel tells, in a series of vivid, rhythmic verse-style chapters, may hold the key to the crimes.

The first joint novel from sibling-author team Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina is an intense, addictive book. It is at once sparse and swift; it comes in under 200 pages long, yet is extraordinarily rich with thematic detail and emotion.

Shocking and heartbreaking truths come to light, and as the book progresses it deftly examines racism, violence, terrible historic injustices and corruption within the police force. This is a book that shows trauma and survival. Stories are vital, and Catching Teller Crow highlights and champions the transformative and nourishing powers of storytelling. It’s a completely gripping book and while highly recommended for young adults, it also deserves a wider readership.


Kim Gruschow is the children’s book buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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