In Moonland, by Miles Allinson

8 October 2021

Afterlives, by Abdulrazak Gurnah, book cover

The birth of a child seems a strange time to start delving into the past, but that’s what happens in the second novel of Melbourne based Australian novelist Miles Allinson, In Moonland (published by Scribe Publications, August 2021). Rather than think about his new born daughter Sylvie, Joe is intent on finding out more about his father, Vincent, who died when Joe was seventeen.

Vincent was a temperamental man, kind one minute, aggressive the next, who once spent time at a spiritual retreat in India. After catching up with Vincent’s surviving friends, Joe discovers something happened in India which had a profound impact on Vincent. Despite what Joe learns though, many questions about his father’s life remain unanswered.

At the time of his death, it was suggested Vincent was trying to stage a car accident so he could make an insurance claim, but Joe discovers that may not have been the case after all. In later years, Sylvie narrates the story, as she travels to meet her estranged father Joe, in a country since ravaged by climate change, and governed by an authoritarian leader.


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