Walking To The Moon: Kate Cole-Adams

Some books are best read and then forgotten; others resonate long after their final words. They, as one of the characters in Walking to the Moon so beautifully puts it, ‘remind people of things they did not know they had forgotten.’ And, it is only in remembrance that one can truly appreciate a book as lovingly-crafted as Kate Cole-Adams’ debut novel. Jess has woken up from a coma, its cause unknown. She knows she must walk, for there is much she must leave behind. She must walk because it is only then that she remembers all the things she is trying to forget. But this is not a novel about major events, at least not initially. Indeed, its real strength is in its sleight of hand. Facts are hidden and then revealed, characters colour with each and every memory, and the landscape is exquisitely rendered through the eyes of the main character. What starts in a rehabilitation ward soon ventures out much further, from the lives of her fellow inmates to Jess’s journey. It is a journey that the reader also takes, along the way seeing a woman both strong and fragile as she struggles to find herself. Put simply, this is a benchmark for Australian literature, debut or otherwise. Laurie Steed is a freelance reviewer