The Riders

…by Tim Winton.

Scully is setting up a life in Ireland while waiting for his wife Jennifer and 7 year old daughter, Billie to join him from Australia after settling things such as selling their home and bringing over everything else they own. Scully loves his wife, his daughter and Australia. But he decides to leave Australia for his wife’s sake…as she wants a change in their lives. On the day of their arrival, Scully goes to welcome them at the airport. Only to have the shock of his life. Billie arrives in Ireland but there is no sign of Jennifer. Jennifer who is pregnant, has not left any note with Billie or any message. Nothing. And Scully’s life falls apart. Thus ensues a search for Jennifer through countries they have previously visited as a family including Greece, France and the Netherlands.

This is a story about love and loss and a man’s search for a person he thought he knew. It is about the love of a man for his daughter and the love of a daughter for her imperfect father. There are some heart-wrenching moments especially when Billie is selectively mute possibly following the shock of her mother leaving. The pain Scully feels is real. On the downside though, a lot is left unanswered. For instance, the woman they meet on a boat who follows them around. Her motives are unclear. Her history is unclear. And finally, why has Jennifer left? Where has she gone to?

It is an interesting read if you are prepared for a number of things to be left open to the reader and not being answered completely. I guess in my mind, I was comparing it to Cloudstreet which I enjoyed a lot more and this did not live up to his other book. I give it a rating of 3.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

***This has been cross-posted on my personal blog***

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