Coffee-break Quick-Pick: The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton.
Jaxie dreads going home. His mother’s dead, the old man beats him without mercy, and he doesn’t know how much more he can take. Then, in one terrible moment of violence, the life he’s known ends – forcing Jaxie to flee his sleepy hometown. He’s not just running from the cops; he’s headed north for the only person in the world who understands him. Carrying with him only a rifle and a water-bottle.
Western Australia, wheat-belts, salt-pans, illicit love, drugs and ruined priests. This isn’t a comfortable novel. It’s hard, brutal and raw, with quite a distasteful ending. Would I read it again. No. Did I enjoy it? yes and no. It’s confronting, but worth persevering with. Some reviewers have called it, ‘an exquisite coming-of-age novel’.
Not quite the description I’d use.