Journey to the Stone Country

Journey to the Stone Country Betrayed by her husband Annabelle Beck retreats from Melbourne to her old family home in tropical North Queensland where she meets Bo Rennie one of the Jangga tribe Intrigued by Bo s claim that he h

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  • Title: Journey to the Stone Country
  • Author: Alex Miller
  • ISBN: 9780340766910
  • Page: 285
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Beck retreats from Melbourne to her old family home in tropical North Queensland where she meets Bo Rennie, one of the Jangga tribe Intrigued by Bo s claim that he holds the key to her future, Annabelle sets out with him on a path of recovery that leads back to her childhood and into the Jangga s ancient heartland, where their grandparenBetrayed by her husband, Annabelle Beck retreats from Melbourne to her old family home in tropical North Queensland where she meets Bo Rennie, one of the Jangga tribe Intrigued by Bo s claim that he holds the key to her future, Annabelle sets out with him on a path of recovery that leads back to her childhood and into the Jangga s ancient heartland, where their grandparents s lives begin to yield secrets that will challenge the possibility of their happiness together With the consummate artistry of a novelist working at the height of his powers, Miller convinces us that the stone country is not only a remote and exotic location in North Queensland, but is also an unvisited place within each of us Journey to the Stone Country confirms Miller s reputation as one of Australia s most intelligent and uncompromising writers The most impressive and satisfying novel of recent years It gave me all the kinds of pleasure a reader can hope for Tim Winton A terrific tale of love and redemption that captivates from the first line Nicholas Shakespeare Miller s fiction has a mystifying power that is always far than the sum of its partshis footsteps softly, deftly, steadily take you places you may not have been, and their sound resonates for a long time Andrea Stretton, Sydney Morning HeraldFirst Paragraph The moment she opened the front door and stepped into the passage she knew he was gone She stood in the silence, her heavy briefcase hanging from her hand, staring at her reflection in the bevelled mirrorglass on the hallstand The passage smelled of fish from next door s cooking It was raining again and the tyres going past in the road outside were making a swishing sound A week earlier they had celebrated her forty second birthday together at her favorite Italian restaurant in Carlton That evening with their meal they shared a bottle of wine and then went home and made love After making love she slept soundly and woke next morning refreshed That day, which was a Saturday, they began planning a trip to Europe, to be undertaken in the autumn There were conferences they would each attend, hers at Kent on Globalising History and his at Leeds on Biography as Fiction After her conference she was to look up family connections in Somerset and they would then meet in Frankfurt and spend a week there together with his brother s family before flying home.

    One thought on “Journey to the Stone Country”

    1. If I read another description of Bo rolling a cigarette in the Pajero I am going to scream. Why not just call it a truck sometimes? Why do we have to hear about these interminable cigarettes? I am about to start going through with a highlighter to count those cigarettes. It is lazy writing and indicative of many of the annoyances of this book. I am not at all sure I am going to bother finishing it. It is a not very successful attempt at chick-lit sprinkled with race relations and the inhospitabi [...]

    2. Where do I begin! Since when does a seemingly affluent academic say, "Elizabeth and me ." pp 42? What were the Miles Franklin judges thinking? This book is only a little shy of a mills and boon romance, and while they have their place, they don't deserve Miles Franklin awards. I agree with other reviewers: it is slow. Can only guess that the author has a politically correct moral on his/ her mind. (Alex?). Either way, the didacticism becomes evident in the last half of the book, which I get, but [...]

    3. I give up. I'm bored. I don't care. I'm sorry if you love this book, that's great, but it's not for me. It might help if I was from Far North Queensland and had some connection to what the author is blathering on about, but it's all flowery crap as far as I'm concerned. Sorry Australian Literature, once again we find we just can't get along.

    4. At a pace quick enough to pass a lizard lying flat out but slow enough to drink a daiquiri Mr Miller trawls through the stone country of Queensland, Australia with a satisfying and intimate tale. Nothing much resembling a plot. Characters a plenty. Images of a countryside you want to go stand and stare at.I'm still not sure what I was so drawn to in this novel but it fair sucked me in.Maybe as a 'pink' Australian living in a city it was the intimacy with the outback land and the locals that had [...]

    5. This is one of my all time favourite books. Gently weaving through the minefield that is associated with this issue, it allowed me a deeper understanding of place and connection to country. I later heard Alex Miller talk about this book and he said it is based on a true storywhich made me love it even more. Oh and Alex Miller is a gem.

    6. I read this slowly, partly to process the beautiful descriptions of the Australian landscape, but also because the story was really way too slow. If the story had been more engaging this would have been a gorgeous book.

    7. Another magnificent offering from Miller. I could tell it was his earlier work, somehow not as sophisticated as his latest offering, ‘Passage of Love’, but something different and just as worthwhile is being offered here. The transcendence of racial differences and reaching a point of peace and acceptance in empathy. Well written loved the evocative descriptions of the Australian landscape throughout.

    8. After a great start, I nearly gave up on this book about half way through; I loved Miller's 'Coal Creek' (the only one of his I'd previously read) but was finding this uninvolving and difficult to pick up once I'd put it down. Mainly because I just could not believe in the relationship between Annabelle and Bo. Annabelle, an intellectual, educated academic, accustomed to Melbourne's sophisticated food and culture, riding into the sunset with Bo? Really? A man who chain-smokes so badly that the o [...]

    9. Annabelle Beck is a 42-year-old academic living a comfortable, intellectual lifestyle in Melbourne with her husband, Steven. She returns home to an empty house; a note on the hallstand from Steven confirms her abandonment due to his fleeting infatuation with an honours student.Annabelle feels betrayed and discarded, and contacts an old colleague, Susan. Susan arranges a flight to Townsville and takes Annabelle with her on a cultural survey project. One of the people involved in the project is Bo [...]

    10. Unfortunately, after a really promising beginning, this book went downhill fast for me. I found it started to drag, and the slow moving descriptions of landscape that I'd so enjoyed in the first third of the book became somewhat repetitious.And there there was the "x looked at y" issue. Miller uses this a lot. A LOT. Annabelle looked at Bo. Bo looked at Arner. Arner looked at Trace. And so on. Repeatedly. Two or three times a page on occasion. By the middle of the book I was heartily sick of rea [...]

    11. I think this would have been a much better story without the whole forced drama of the betrayed by her husband part. So many ridiculous parts to that reduced the story to borderline romance novel at times. I wanted to love the scenic descriptions more than I did. I feel like the author was probably doing a excellent job describing it but I could never form a good picture of it and had difficulty keeping directions straight. Still some of the information presented was interesting and thought prov [...]

    12. Hmmm. Beautiful descriptions of Queensland Australia. Raises all thesignificant social, political and even spiritual questions of a landtaken from the original people in a thoughtful way but the "fatedromance" remains contrived. Too bad as it diminishes the otherwisecomplex issues the author tries to explore through its characters and their family histories.'

    13. Alex Miller has tried to explore the meaning of country and land in Australia. Time and belonging to land while precious to both the Aboriginal characters and the white Australians also separate them. An important issues which unfortunately does not ever develop beyond cliches. The connection between the two main characters is never believable.

    14. Enjoyed this book with its slow pace, good writing and interesting characters. Got a bit annoyed with the repetitive fawning/describing the mysterious Arner but that's a minor issue.

    15. The struggle to to read this book was extensive, the author was clearly focusing on the journey rather than the destination. I feel like it was just one big fat metaphor for our earthly existence.

    16. i loved "lovesong" so much and havent quite worked out why this isnt appealling as much to me. will battle on though as it came highly recommended!

    17. Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller was the winner of the Miles Franklin Award in 2003.Set in 1995, Annabelle hastily abandons her husband, Steven, in Melbourne after she discovers he is having an extra-marital dalliance with one of his students. Annabelle flees to Townsville in Far North Queensland where she grew up and still has some family and friends.She quickly becomes involved in an indigenous heritage survey for a proposed dam site, which would flood forever a vast area of Murri c [...]

    18. So eloquent. Miller’s understated prose is simply beautiful. I found this book so uplifting and relaxing as I was forced to step back and wait just like Annabelle in the book must learn to be patient and absorb the nuances of the situations and her relationships with her indigenous acquaintances who reveal more by their actions than their conversations. Synopsis - Annabelle runs away from her marriage after her world is turned upside down by her husband’s betrayal. Her old friend Susan organ [...]

    19. I can’t begin to describe how disappointing this book was. I have read 3 other Alex Miller novels and loved them all (Lovesong, Coal Creek and Conditions of Faith) . This one is uninvolving, but worse than that, it is actually irritating. I kept reading since it is quite an easy read, and the descriptions of countryside and various places visited were quite interesting. Some of the moments were quite gripping and Alex Miller has a lovely way of describing the atmosphere of a place. There were [...]

    20. The premise of this book, i.e. the husband's affair with a student that sparked Annabelle to head off north to where she was raised as a child, seems improbable. He is quickly forgotten in all that follows. Annabelle meets up with Bo, an aboriginal fellow she knew as a child but who was in the background at that time because they were in such different spheres. Clearly she loomed more highly in his recollection than he did in hers. In the days and weeks where she meets up with up with him again [...]

    21. This is my fourth Alex Miller book and perhaps my favourite, at the moment, until I read my fifth. Set in northern and central Queensland, I could relate to its scenery and settings as much as to some of the characters. Having just finished it, the story of these people and their history is still swirling in my head and I expect that may last for some time.

    22. I loved this book. Reading it put me right in the heart of the landscape with language so vivid I could smell the earth and the forest. This is the story of a woman, a quiet academic, who returns to her rural childhood home following the breakdown of her marriage.

    23. I alway start this kind of books hoping I'll learn more about aboriginal culture and historyDidn't really happenStory isn't worth much either in my opinion

    24. While not an enthralling storyline this book has Fantastic descriptions of the area and people. Half way through I started to feel the intense portrayals were a tad over done and started to irritate but I worked through and overcame! Overall a good and thought provoking book.

    25. After reading Lovesong by Alex Miller with my book group, I was enamoured with this skillful writer and snaffled up two of his books second hand. On a trip to the USA, I had ample travel time to voraciously read Journey to the Stone Country.Miller has a rare talent for a male writer of being able to write complex, flawed and interesting female characters that are neither beautiful, love interests nor victims but instead self-determining, fully developed people. That sentence sounds dreadfully se [...]

    26. To be honest, looking at the cover on my version of this book, I never would have picked it up in the first place. The pastel colours and italic, curly writing of the title do not draw my eyes to the book; rather, they would cause me to barely even glance at it if it were on a bookshelf. If I were to ever read the blurb, I would put it back on the shelf. From face-value, there is nothing that entices me to read this novel. To be fair, I did not choose to read it - I am studying it at school. Per [...]

    27. I really enjoyed the start of this book. It then got a bit lost on me. I can see by other reviews that various phrasing etc annoyed some readers, but I think it was generally well written, especially the first 100 pages or so. My real trouble with the book was that the characters were mostly unconvincing. I didn't really buy the Bo and Annabelle thing. She showed very little sign of mourning for her marriage and her attachment to the land in Queensland seemed too far removed from that of Bo's. A [...]

    28. Miller's novel, set in far North Queensland, functions as a kind of metaphor of the tenuous relationship between black and white Australians. Childhood friends Bo Renney of the Jangga tribe and Melbourne academic Annabelle Beck, recently returned to her ancestral home after a marriage bust-up, forge a new relationship based on a realistic view of their shared history. Once having stared into the face of the violence between their two families in the past they are able to set their sites on a pos [...]

    29. Another thought provoking read from this amazing author. I finished the book a little muffed that the interracial love story seemed highly improbable, i then read Miller's notes on the book and discovered that the story is based on a true love story between two of his friends. Miller commented that he did modify their tale and I must say it reads like it. I think the book is about interracial issues in Australia and indigenous spirituality and maybe reconciliation. European Australians have diff [...]

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