Friday, 8 April 2016

The Scarecrow by Ronald Hugh Morrieson

"Mabel Collinson had always looked like a goddess to Sam Finn"

This novel was somewhat of an undiscovered gem that I initially had mixed feelings about. I was won over by the cover and its pulp fiction quality that seemed to beckon. I upped my initial review score when I reflected upon its content a few days after I had finished reading.

Initially, I was repulsed by the sense of threat that the violence against women that is such a key element of the story provoked in me. The gang threatening the beautiful Prudence in particularly, gave me the shudders. Beauty is something that is destroyed again and again within the claustrophobic surrounds of a small town.

Juxtaposed against the violence, is the sense of change, wonder and burgeoning sexual awakening that lies at the heart of puberty and is personified by Neddy Poindexter. In any case, this is a novel that brings a strange and unique voice.

Undoubtedly, this novel deserves more readers and it is great that Text Classics is publishing some fantastic Australian, and in this case, New Zealand writers of the past.

5 out of 5 big sisters would be lost without their little brothers.

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