Hope against despair. Courage fighting fear. Joy beating sadness.
This is a powerful novel. Filled with powerful female characters and a dad who could be a role model for dads everywhere.
The way it’s told pulls the reader in, and then makes them question everything.
I love the clever use of POV. Beth Teller is dead, and narrates in first person prose, past tense. Yet second narrator, Isobel Catching, narrates in 1st person verse, present tense, even though she’s mainly telling the “what has been”. Her narrative tricks you at first, until you realise the truth and your mind flips and the story suddenly gets a heck load deeper into your gut.
‘Catching Teller Crow’ is a jewel of a murder mystery with paranormal side serves and some intriguing gusts of wind.
Like Isobel Catching, I feel this novel wants to be heard. To tell the stories that need to be told.
‘This grey’s yours,’ I say. ‘My colours are mine. I’m not carrying your shame for what you did. Only my pride. For surviving you.’
It’s a brilliant book. It’s gritty. It may make you cry (but that might also just be me being a mum and having some overactive empathy) (actually I don’t think you can have overactive empathy – the more we have, the better world this would be).
But it will also uplift you. Because it reminds us we all have strength inside.
And as an opportunity to discuss intergenerational racism in Australia with teenagers, it’s gold. I’d love to see it on English Lit lists.
A recommended read.