The Sound, by Sarah Drummond

the-sound-by-sarah-drummondThe Sound is a work of historical fiction following Maori man, Wiremu Heke’s, search for justice and the colonial captain who ransacked his village and caused the demise of his father.

It is a harrowing, but beautiful narrative, written to showcase the majestic Australian landscape, set against the brutal sealing industry of the colonial era. Sarah’s historical work has focussed  strongly on the role of Aboriginal women in the sealing industry of the west coast and this book is no exception, it wrestles with the complex and traumatic reality of child abduction and slavery,  and the uneasy notions of justice in a land struggling under the increasing impacts of colonisation.

The Sound makes no excuses for the sins of the past, its beauty lies in the spectacular portrayal of the still wild coast of Australia and Sarah’s impossible talent for making accessible a realistic  portrayal of the history white Australia desires to repress.

This novel is important not only for its contribution to WA literature, but even more so for providing a vessel by which we can honestly view our, often confronting, past.

Elaenor Nield

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