Limberlost the new novel by Robbie Arnott

3 October 2022

Limberlost by Robbie Arnott, book cover

Limberlost (published by Text Publishing, October 2022), is the new novel from Tasmania based Australian author Robbie Arnott, and follows his 2020 book The Rain Heron, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin literary award.

As with The Rain Heron, conflict features in Limberlost, though this time the story is told from the perspective of a boy whose older brothers are away, fighting during the Second World War:

In the heat of a long summer Ned hunts rabbits in a river valley, hoping the pelts will earn him enough money to buy a small boat. His two brothers are away at war, their whereabouts unknown. His father and older sister struggle to hold things together on the family orchard, Limberlost.

Desperate to ignore it all — to avoid the future rushing towards him — Ned dreams of open water. As his story unfolds over the following decades, we see how Ned’s choices that summer come to shape the course of his life, the fate of his family and the future of the valley, with its seasons of death and rebirth.

Early reviews for Limberlost look promising. Kimberley Starr, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, praises Arnott’s magical realism, and lyrical magic, which made The Rain Heron a treat to read:

Any readers unresponsive to the magical realism of Arnott’s previous novels should find something to appreciate here, and people who already value his writing will have the opportunity to see him working his lyrical magic in a more familiar but equally beguiling world.


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