Sometime in the 1800s a farming community established in outback Australia by a German religious sect is not progressing well They are waiting for the Messiah and strangely he doesn t Benedict is a 15 ear old who returns from boarding school to find his mother killed by his father who in turn kills himself Benedict goes
AND LIVES IN THE BARN WITH HIS HORSES AND lives in the barn with his horses and book is full of descriptive prose most of it rather bleak as madness isolation despair and depravity pervades the community But if Governance and Politics in Africa you are into horses than this is a winner 4 12 rounded up as its a mesmerizing cinematic fast paced believable chronicle The achingly beautiful sensitive interactions with his animals insects trees and encounters with a travelling group of Aboriginals leaves a reader with such hope for Benedict s future What to write a book This is how it s done Reminds me apropos of nothing of the rhythm and pace of Leap by Myfanwy Jones A book club choice that I left to the last few days to both obtain and read A friend said not to worry it would not take long to read She was right Once I started I just kept reading The prose is mesmerising the observations of grief and survival convincing Each chapter is preceded by an extract from the Book designed to guide the life of the community This techniue used to good effect in Robyn Cadwallader s Colours provides a seasonal rhythmgiven greater impact by the Southern Hemisphere contrasts Added to this is the passing of an Aboriginal family through the property following their seasonal journey in which the seasins have an uncanny resemblance to the divisions of the Calendar of the Germanic sect Eva Hornung s empathy is tangible She fine tunes her writing to the journey of a soul to healing and life to the voices of Benjamin and Pastor Helfgott reducing to static the voices of anger envy presumption and judgement It s a remarkable achievement and uplifting It took me a while after the dramatic start to really warm to this but Hornung is a wonderful storyteller not rushing through anything and really building up her isolated little world The Last Garden is set in a small German religious community in the Adelaide hills sometime in the 1800s and examines grief faith and nature in exacting and thoughtful ways This didn t drag me along like Dog Boy but it was still a deeply interesting read He could not make sense of it all until he let a trickle of memory in Benedict Orion returns home to Wahreit from boarding school on the day that his father Matthias shoots his wife Eva and himself dead Benedict fifteenears old discovers their bodies The community of Wahreit is shocked Wahreit an Isolated Settlement Set Somewhere In settlement set somewhere in Australia has been founded by a community in exile awaiting the return of the Messiah It is the last garden of the title But the community has been waiting for a long time and Pastor Helfgott can feel some waverings of faith He is not the leader that his predecessor was and feels his deficiency keenlyBenedict is unable to remain inside his parents home and moves into the barn to live with the horses Pastor Helfgott visits Benedict bringing him food from the community The novel marks the passage of the seasons Benedict s passage through grief is difficult to observe he becomes like the animals he is living with and the community is unsure how to react The horses particularly the mare named Melba provide Dominic with a focus and a way to relate to the external world Dominic tries hard to keep hens as well his mother had a collection of exotic hens but there s a fox to contend withDominic s difference becomes an issue with the community especially when a scapegoat is needed It has become clear that this isolated and closed community has flaws and faultsAs I read this beautifully written novel with its polished prose I wondered if Dominic could ever find his way back to the world of humans I wondered too about the community and Pastor Helfgott Should they have done and what could they have done Four themes stand out for me the violence committed by humans and not just that of Matthias Orion the persistence and cunning of the fox the strength of the horses and the definition of redemption He opens the door with a firm hand and walks into the room I found this novel unsettling in parts I wanted to intervene in the story to somehow improve Dominic s life It was a novel I wanted to read uickly to know how it ended and to read slowly to enjoy the beauty of the writing It s a novel which will stay with. The settlement of Wahrheit founded in exile to await the return of the Messiah has been waiting longer than expected Pastor Helfgott has begun to feel the subtle fraying of the community’s faith Then Matthias Orion shoots his wife and himself on the very day.
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Me for a long timeJennifer Cameron Smith This Was A Powerful And Moving was a very powerful and moving relationships The two main characters are both dealing with the legacies of their fathers but also dealing with their trustrelationship with God The allegory of seasons is used to represent the different stages of grief There is also a great deal of symbolism within the novel such as fire birth death and the fox The I think about this story the complex and layered it becomes The only thing I would have liked would be a bit context to explain the origins of this Old Germanic group of people A haunting novel about living in the present and accepting the past Thanks to Goodreads and Text for my copy of this novel The previous Horning novel I read was Dog Boy in which an abandoned child in Moscow is adopted by a pack of dogs This novel shows a boy Benedict finding his only solace in his farm s horses after the shocking murdersuicide of his parents Horning again shows her understanding of animals and how contact with animals can help us deal with the most raw emotions She writes prose that is both lucid and lyrical both brutal and tender The other strand to the novel is the rural community in which Benedict and his family have lived German immigrants to Australia who have cut themselves off from regular society while they await the appearance of their Messiah Because of the murdersuicide people appear not to be able to cope with the survival of Benedict and it is really only the Pastor who reaches out to support him This is not just a story of survival it is a story of an isolated community which harbours dark secrets Adam and Eve were cast out of the first garden What knowledge can be found in the last garden what sins revealed and what redemption achieved I was both moved and unsettled by this brilliantly written novel A powerful book and the writing is mesmerising Mercury An extraordinarily powerful unsettling and at times deeply moving tale Sydney Review of Books Harrowing reading Literatuur van de Moderne Tijd - Nederlandse en Vlaamse letterkunde in de 19e en 20e eeuw yet it s beautiful too An extraordinary novel ANZ LitLovers Hornung has given an allegory for the modern worldGenuine feeling for others is so much important than adhering to doctrine In this novel when the lessons are learned the Garden of Eden can have a different ending Newtown Review of Books Hornung writes with extraordinary force and insightan amazing feat of imaginative power Canberra Times AstonishingA strange sombre sobering triumph Sydney Morning Herald There s human violence and the strength of animalsjust gripping Australian The Last Garden is vivid visceral and disconcerting The descriptions of animals are intensely empathetic and the book raises fundamental and confronting uestions about how our animal and our human selves can or should co exist Books Publishing Eightears after the magical Prime Minister s Literary Award winning Dog Boy what a joy it is to have another beautifully wrought novel by Adelaide author Eva Hornung Adelaide Advertiser Like all great literary fiction The Last Garden provokes thought and empathy in eual measure This visceral and utterly compelling new novel represents an ambitious new layer to Hornung s continued investigation of the human condition magnificently realised Readings This is a novel that is calm and patient in its telling and almost hypnotic in its effect What Hornung emphasises is that it s neither our hopes for the future nor the suffering of our pasts that saves us Rather it s in the act of living the way we attune ourselves to the
shifting demands of the world around us the use we make of the time between the first gardendemands of the world around us the use we make of the time between the first garden the last that redemption is to be found Australian It s melancholy beautiful and deeply evocative Michael Cathcart admitted to the writer that he knew he was going to love it from page one Michael Cathcart Radio National Eva Hornung understands how critical human relationships with animals can be Guardian Yes there are grotesue and sinister surprises aplenty in this weird prodigy of a book but there is a lot of tenderness and an extraordinary beauty too Saturday Paper Melancholy beautiful and deeply evocative RN Books and Arts Full of symbolism but not overpowered by it this is a powerful book and the writing is mesmerising Herald Sun The Last Garden is by no means a long read but it is a big novel Hornung s characters in all their awed complexity will stay with ou long after the covers of this powerful book are closed Australian Book Review Hornung s knowledge and deep respect for the spiritual and. Their son Benedict returns home from boarding school Benedict is unmoored by shock severed from his past and his future Unable to be inside the house unable to speak he moves into the barn with the horses and chooks relying on the animals’ strength and the rh. Emotional relationships between humans and animals shine through in her exuisite glittering prose This gentle literary novel is a moving meditation on the heavy mist of grief and will bring back a dark solace to the tormented heart Big Issue Full of symbolism but not overpowered by it this is a powerful book and the writing is mesmerising bulletin hornung is a writer of extraordinary Bulletin Hornung is a writer of extraordinary using her omniscient narrator inhabit the minds of Benedict s father the grieving child and the faltering pastor following the flux of their thoughts with elegance and precisionAn unusual and hypnotic novel Age Deep despair was cushioned by gorgeous writing in Eva Hornung s The Last Garden Bram Presser Sydney Morning Herald s Year in Reading 45 s The farm was alive as it had never been It was sinister sentient Demanding The blue shadows lengthened marching towards him The sun lit the stubble orange and flamed off the distant cliff of the escarpment The water in the creek whispered through reed beds and gurgled over rocks as it always had but now there were words in it sad harsh almost indistinguishable The grass rustled with uick lives and a secret knowledge the air was filled with buzz and sizzle deep toned frogs an owl all were shouting scraping at him asking for some response from him The Last Garden is the second novel by Australian author Eva Hornung When fifteen ear old Benedict Orion comes home from boarding school to find his father has shot dead his mother and then himself the only respite he can find from memories is in the barn In his grief he becomes a recluse he shuns interaction with the well meaning townspeople of Wahrheit and keeps company with the horses and chickens Pastor Edmund Helfgott s visits cause anxiety and anticipation in eual measurePastor Helfgott shields the boy from contact allowing him to come to terms with his loss in his own way praying this is the right thing to do He does worry about the boy s mental state But despite being a pastor s son he has never felt he is doing an adeuate job for his flock never really filled the Old Pastor s shoes relying on his father s sermons and the Book of Seasons his father wrote for the community in their new land And now this murder suicide seems to be a catalyst for change in the small exclusive community that the Old Pastor had founded so many Guide to Glorantha Volume 1 years before established in a new land to await the Second Coming Months later The Orion tragedy bled still for somehow they had not gathered together and staunched the wound They had not taken the boy into the heart of the community and tended him in his grief They had not gathered axes saws adzes and the women and marched out to the farm to clean up and rebuild his house No oneet blamed the pastor but somehow they all felt a vague disuiet and sense of culpability The shock of Matthias s act had paralysed them and Benedict had himself become part of the wound After some time Benedict allows some memories to surface good ones at first He had found Ada a collection of chickens beyond any flock Benedict had ever seen He produced each suawking specimen with a flourish as a magician might made it flap for Benedict then tossed it this way or that into the pen Benedict laughed with delight and Ada standing and watching looked up first at the willow tree then the pine tree then smiled Each shrieking chicken was spectacular than the last The final crate held a single enraged rooster Matthias mimed the danger wrestled and then extracted the most spectacular of them all he had a speckled tuxedo a trailing tail black and white and a Harry Potter en de Vuurbeker (De Harry Potter-serie) yard long and magnificent spurs Matthias swirled him the tail feathers flying like streamers then hurled him like a firework into the pen The rooster righted himself and spun neck feathers fluffed for battle to attack the fence near where they stood Hornung s second novel is filled with gorgeous descriptive prose as theear following the initial shocking event unfolds While the time period and location are not specified her portrayal of what is probably 19th century country Victoria shows deep understanding of and connection with the land The mindset
And Feel Of The Tightknit Religious Communityfeel of the tightknit religious community also expertly conveyed This is a powerful and thought provoking read For anyone who enjoys beautiful prose this is a novel for Out of My Comfort Zone: The Autobiography you I have just devoured it over a few days and have experienced a range of emotions from awe at the writing to shock and sadness within the story I cannot wait to see what Hornung produces nex. Ythm of the working day to hold his shattered self together The pastor watches over Benedict through theear of his crazy grief man and boy growing each according to his own capacity as they come to terms with the unknowable past and the frailties of being hum.