This story of a lost child in nineteenth-century Australia and the people who go looking for him is riveting, beautiful, and wise. I don’t know how to better say it: this is literature at its best. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"The Sun Walks Down is the book I'm always longing to find: brilliant, fresh and compulsively readable. It is marvelous. I loved it start to finish." Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
Fiona McFarlane's blazingly brilliant new novel, The Sun Walks Down, tells the many-voiced, many-sided story of a boy lost in colonial Australia.
In September 1883, a small town in the South Australian outback huddles under strange, vivid sunsets. Six-year-old Denny Wallace has gone missing during a dust storm, and the entire community is caught up in the search for him. As they scour the desert and mountains for the lost child, the residents of Fairly — newlyweds, farmers, mothers, indigenous trackers, cameleers, children, artists, schoolteachers, widows, maids, policemen — confront their relationships, both with one another and with the land-scape they inhabit.
The colonial Australia of The Sun Walks Down is noisy with opinions, arguments, longings, and terrors. It's haunted by many gods — the sun among them, rising and falling on each day in which Denny could be found, or lost forever.
Told in many ways and by many voices, Fiona McFarlane's new novel pulses with love, art, and the unbearable divine. It arrives like a vision: mythic, vivid, and bright with meaning.
"The Sun Walks Down is a brilliant, intimate epic, a book about a family and also about history that is full of heart and heat. Fiona McFarlane's ear for the gurgles and clamor and hidden symphonies of her characters' souls is flawless; the way their lives intertwine is propulsive, heartbreaking. She is, simply, one of the best writers around." Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Souvenir Museum and Bowlaway
"This tale of a farming community's search for a missing child offers intimate human drama, ruminations on the intersections of art and life, and a sweeping, still relevant view of race and class in Australia…A masterpiece of riveting storytelling." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"The Sun Walks Down by Fiona MacFarlane is, quite simply, the best novel I've ever read about 19th century Australia. A tense search for a lost child unfolds with rising dread against a landscape of harsh and radiant beauty, amid lives as tangled as barbed wire." Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Horse
About the Author
Fiona McFarlane is the author of The Night Guest (2013) and The High Places (2016), which won the International Dylan Thomas Prize. Her short fiction has been published in the New Yorker and Zoetrope: All-Story. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.