Bruny by Heather Rose

1. First lines 2. Published 2019 Allen & Unwin 3. Bridge Steel Bridge Metal Rods [Public Domain] via Needpix 4. Bruny Island, Tasmania. By Steven Penton. Licence [CC BY 2.0] via flickr
Too much political extrapolation and explanation.

It’s the near future. King Charles is on the English throne, Donald Trump is in his second term, and a bridge is being built from the Tasmanian mainland to Bruny Island. Many Tasmanians oppose the construction of the bridge which is damaged severely by explosives planted by unknown persons. The government’s response is to bring in Chinese workers to work alongside Australians to repair the bridge so that it is completed on time. Astrid Coleman, a UN conflict resolution expert, is hired by the Tasmanian Premier (her brother John) to placate the protestors who oppose both the construction of the bridge, and the hiring of Chinese workers.

“… humans doing anything together is not easy. Why is that?”

“… to live on an island isn’t just a location. It’s a sense of belonging. It’s history and sacrifice. It’s a choice to be remote.”

“We were parked on the lower level of the ferry, so I got out of the car and took the stairs to the upper deck. There, leaning against the railing, I surveyed the channel. It was dark denim blue. A five- to ten-knot south-westerly was ruffling the water. I breathed in the salt air. Most places I’ve travelled, I’ve found beauty, but in Tasmania, each time I come back, I get hit with it all over again. The beauty here is a different order. Something to do with the light and the air that is so crisp and unpolluted it almost hurts to take a deep breath at first.”

~Quotes from “Bruny” by Heather Rose
  • The Conversation: “There are a few flaws in the novel. As potential satire, it does not have to draw complex secondary characters, but insofar as it is a family drama the failure to do so weakens the effect. Perhaps this is an unavoidable outcome of the hybrid genre, but one might feel the politically powerful siblings, JC and Max, are not developed beyond caricature. And there are a few elements in the writing that grate. Characters are repeatedly described by their likeness to actors – including Christopher Pike, Gene Hackman, and Chris Hemsworth. The novel mixes family drama, political intrigue and geopolitical speculation in ways that seem exaggerated and improbable.”
  • The Canberra Times: “Rose has said that Bruny is part political thriller, part satire, part love story, part family story. These diverse elements, supplemented by the overwhelming political messages, never coalesce successfully, but there’s no doubt Bruny will arouse much passionate discussion, not least in Tasmania.”

Author website: Heather Rose

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