The first novel from acclaimed author Cate Kennedy, whose “prose, line by line, is sharp, evocative, and often poetic” (The New York Times Book Review
), is a compassionate and unswerving portrait of a broken family whose members go to extraordinary lengths to reclaim their lives and relationships from the mistakes of the past.
Fifteen years after their volatile breakup, Rich and Sandy
have both settled into the unfulfilling compromises of middle age: he’s a late-night infomercial editor with photojournalism aspirations; she makes outdated hippie jewelry for a local market and struggles to maintain a New Age lifestyle that fails to provide the answers she seeks. To distract themselves from their inadequacies, both Rich and Sandy
cling to the shining moment of their youth, when they met as environmental activists as part of a world-famous blockade to save the Tasmanian forests.
Their daughter, Sophie, has always remained skeptical of her parents’ ecological fairy tale, but when Rich invites her on a backpacking trip through Tasmania
for her fifteenth birthday, Sophie sees it as a way to bond with a father she’s never known. As they progress farther into the wilderness, the spell of Rich’s worldly charm soon gives way to Sophie’s suspicion and fear as his overconfidence sets off a chain of events that no one could have predicted.
A story of forgiveness and survival, The World Beneath
plumbs the depths of family and courage through characters who will learn that if they are to endure, they must traverse not only the secret territories that lie between them, but also those within themselves.