Bloody good blokes

Bloody good blokes

All the Birds, Singing

by Evie Wyld

Vintage, $32.95 pb, 229 pp, 9781742757308

The shattered narrative of Evie Wyld’s second novel returns to themes of violence and its aftermath that were central to her first, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice (2009). Its protagonist, Jake Whyte, remembers just one moment of pure beauty. At fifteen, waiting after school for her sister, she is confronted by bullies Hannah and Nerrida. Into the exquisite torture of prods, yanks, and taunts – dyke, homo, Brick Shit House – comes Denver Cobby, a boy so self-possessed that when he smokes outside school, the teachers leave him alone. Jake’s chief tormentor thinks Denver’s invitation ‘You want me to walk you home?’ is intended for her. It isn’t, and Jake knows that she will pay for her triumph, even as she relishes the charge of Denver’s body close to hers and his arm around her waist. Jake’s response to the moment’s undoing is the pivot that alters her life.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Felicity Plunkett

Felicity Plunkett

Felicity Plunkett is a poet and critic. Her first collection of poetry Vanishing Point (UQP, 2009) won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize and was shortlisted for several other awards. She has a chapbook Seastrands (2011) in Vagabond Press’ Rare Objects series. Her new collection A Kinder Sea is forthcoming. Felicity was Poetry Editor for University of Queensland Press and edited Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011). She has a PhD from the University of Sydney and her reviews and essays have been widely published in The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Book Review, Sydney Review of Books etc. Her essay ‘Sound Bridge’, a portrait of Indigenous Australian musician Dr G. Yunupingu, was first published in Australian Book Review and anthologised in Best Australian Essays 2015 (Black Inc, ed. Geordie Williamson).

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.