The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau

1. Publisher: Bloomsbury 2015 2. First lines 3. Young girl 4. A misty morning in Megalong Valley Blue Mountains Australia
This inside look at a family in grief portrays the way individual people react to loss.

Plot:  A family grieving a loss, each member in their own way, try to recover. Tess who doesn’t speak; Stefan dependent on alcohol and wrapped up in his beekeeping; Angelina, retreating socially and building a memorial; and Meg, sketching and looking out for Tess. When Stefan finds human bones in a car wreck on his farm, the family’s secrets are uncovered.

Quotes from the book:

  • He ranks his problems. His wife, her suffering.  The farm, how to make it prosper.  The letter from the gas-mining company, with all its inducements, its dodgy corporate vibe among the bee books on his desk.  Tess’s silence, which he’s almost used to.”
  • “… his thoughts hovered on Pip, his youngest, his little house bee.”

Reviews: “The World Without Us is an impressive, memorable novel, the work of a writer in command of her craft.” Full review Sydney Morning Herald

“With so many voices and subplots buzzing about, the narrative can feel bitty, and the numerous mysteries dilute interest in each. Swarming at the reader in fragmented sections, the voices and dialogue are light on punctuation in a style that is effective and natural but also sometimes confusing. Reading the novel is akin to being inside a hive, a constant whirr of activity as plots are picked up and then speedily discarded.” Full review: The Irish Times

Notable Awards:


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