Late last year I attended the Tasmanian Readers and Writers Festival in Hobart, where I listened to Cate Kennedy and Kathryn Lomer in conversation, and discovered this book. The next day I also attended Cate’s Masterclass, and I am so glad I did – what an amazing day – (you can read about it here). 🙂
The World Beneath is the story of a family in pieces. Sandy has been left to raise Sophie alone, while Rich follows his dream of travelling the world and photographing amazing places. But Sophie is 15 now, and Rich wants to reconnect with the daughter he barely knows. A bushwalk along Tasmania’s famous Overland Track seems like the answer.
What to write about this novel??
I’m a Tasmanian, who loves bushwalking, but I still haven’t been on the Overland Track. I’ve been to Cradle Mountain and enjoyed day walks in that area, and I’ve taken the ferry across Lake Sinclair to the southern most end of the track.
I’ve heard of all the names: Du Cane, Narcissus, Pine Valley, The Labyrinth; and I’ve seen amazing photos of the incredible landscapes to be found, and perhaps because of this, Cate’s story felt so familiar. I could ‘see’ every step of Sophie and her estranged father, Rich’s journey across the wilds of Tasmania, I understood the risks, the importance of heading weather warnings, and being prepared for any eventuality. I cringed when… well, that may be a spoiler, so I won’t finish that sentence – you’ll just have to read it for yourself _ I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about when you read it.
Even Sandy’s story – a mother just trying her best – resonated with me. I loved her visit to the Goddess workshop; felt terribly sorry for her as she tried her best to deal (mostly in her imagination) with a domineering mother and judgmental friends.
This is a brilliant story about facing those inner-demons we all carry, and coming out stronger on the other side. I highly recommend reading this one!