On Writers

Grey’s Valley

By Hugh Atkinson,
Penguin Aust. 1987.

God knows where it is, this valley, but if it wasn’t always there in fact, it’s there now; by this time the homestead timbers have rotted away, the fence posts taken root and sprouted enough to deceive the eye, but should you happen on a warty colony of orchard trees, surprisingly mid-forest somewhere, the chances are you’ve found it.

Old Grey built it, begat family there, ruled it, his children appropriated spouses, not always according to the conventions of courtship elsewhere, and after he died the momentum of his personality reigned on.

A legend, whole and authentic; a small novel only if we count magnitude by the number of pages.

For the Good Reading Guide
McPhee Gribble 1989.