The Rest is Weight, by Jennifer Mills, is a restless collection of short stories. Its settings include Russia, remote parts of Australia, Mexico, and China. The stories are densely packed; there are no ‘snapshots’ or ‘sketches’, only well-made narratives populated by plausible, complicated characters. Nor is there any decorative writing; no showy turns of phrase, only tough, efficient prose, always working in service of a narrative. Style is subordinate to substance for Mills, and the result is a book that will draw in new readers, as well as pleasing those who have already enjoyed her previous two novels.
by Josephine Rowe
University of Queensland Press, $19.95 pb, 104 pp, 9780702249303