The local literary world is highly excited by the arrival of The Shepherd’s Hut, Tim Winton’s 12th novel. My Bookshop shares the enthusiasm, with our bookseller Corrie describing it as “an outstanding work which is destined to feature on the shortlist of all Australia’s 2018 literary awards’’.
The Shepherd’s Hut, follows the journey of Jaxie Claxton, a resilient, traumatised teenager growing up in an isolated West Australian town. As the book begins, Jaxie’s mother has died of cancer and the boy has become the focus of his alcoholic father’s anger and fists. A terrible accident prompts Jaxie to hit the road. His journey through the unforgiving bush and barren salt plains leads him to a remote shepherd’s hut, inhabited by hermit and former priest Fintan MacGillis. This unlikely friendship between Jaxie and Fintan forms the guts of the novel and allows hope, light and the possibility of salvation to shine through. As author and academic Brenda Niall writes in her recent piece in the Australian Book Review, “Jaxie’s journey, alone, unprovided, and on foot, in the harsh Western Australian desert country, is vintage Winton. Nearly all Winton’s novels take their readers on a journey. The starting point may be a quest or an escape; it may begin in restlessness, fear, anger, or desperate need. Winton’s heartland is the coastal region around Fremantle, but he writes with equal authority about the western desert region in which Jaxie struggles to survive. As in other Winton novels, the physical journey stirs the protagonist to self-discovery. If he is to survive as a human being, Jaxie must experience kindness and learn to trust. The solitary old man, Fintan MacGillis, who lives in the shepherd’s hut, is his last chance. Good shepherd or good father; it all depends on him…..The Shepherd’s Hut a powerful experience.”
We urge our Friends to step inside Winton’s new novel. Its glorious writing, sense of place, strong characters and compelling storyline remind us of Winton’s earlier Dirt Music and Breath.
Click here to purchase your copy, or visit our shop to have a browse.