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Where the Light Falls by Gretchen Shirm

Book cover for Where the Light Falls by Gretchen Shirm

Where the Light Falls by Gretchen Shirm (Allen & Unwin)

Judges' Comments

Where the Light Falls is brimming with virtuoso depictions. This first novel by Shirm follows photographer Andrew as he returns home from Berlin after hearing about the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend, Kirsten. Back in Sydney, Andrew tries to unravel what has happened to her. He tracks down her family and travels to Lake George where she was last seen, and where her car was left abandoned. He prolongs his stay in Sydney, putting his relationship with his German girlfriend, Dom, at risk. All the while, Kirsten’s fate remains a mystery.

While trying to uncover the truth of Kirsten’s disappearance Andrew begins to unravel his former relationship with her, simultaneously uncovering layers of his own past. This compelling narrative takes an honest and intimate look at grief and memory. Beautifully written, with astute observations, this novel takes us through a landscape of loss, healing and the nature of art.