The Book of Emmett: Deborah Forster

Place is integral to this moody, evocative first novel: namely, the ‘blasted landscape’ of Footscray. Looming large over the book and all its characters is the title character, Emmett Brown: abused child and abusive father, emotional and eccentric, prone to sudden, violent tempers and (rare) unexpected bouts of volatile tenderness. The Brown children are bonded tight by the shared experience of surviving life under such a father, long after they have grown up and moved out – but never on.

This novel begins and ends with Emmett’s death and the grown childrens’ struggle to reconcile their mixed feelings. In between, we explore the riddle of Emmett, and follow the evolving lives of the Brown clan. Forster’s great achievement is in making this grim material sing – it is not only terrible, but also loving and often wryly entertaining. The glue of the book is the bond between the siblings, which is rendered in all its complexity; the difficult truth of it is the light and shade that colour the portrait of Emmett.

 Read review
The Book of Emmett

The Book of Emmett

Deborah Forster

$19.95Buy now

Finding stock availability...