"Spread below us, the land is flat and golden, all its undulations etched into shadow. Wheat stubble is sectioned into orderly rectangles. Sheep pads spider away from dams and troughs. From above, the windmills are barely visible. Rare clumps of trees stand in vivid contrast to the bleached summer pastures. When sheep move, as hot milk split across a tawny cloth, dust rises like steam in their wake"
Apologies for starting with an excerpt from the book, but my words could do the prose no justice. Winton captures the wonder of Australia's vast landscape in a way that will connect you to it like you never believed possible. For me, I've been slowly building a love for this island and a deepening connection since moving here 4 years ago from England. This book was the perfect description of why I was falling in love with Australia and why it was shaping me into the person I was becoming. It helped me understand why I never felt strong connections to cities or built up areas. It encapsulated the wonder of this huge island.
Island Home is a landscape memoir, following his life around different parts of Australia and the way he connected with the land. For anyone looking to explore Australia, whether you're a tourist, local or born and bred Aussie, this book will strike a chord with you. A book that will inspire you to explore the land, stare at the sand and most likely, pick up a pen or camera and just try to recreate some of the beauty he has captured.
We are all a reflection on our surroundings. For the lost boys exploring new lands, this book gives an understanding to where you may feel could be home. It may be where you grew up, or it may be where you grow up. Winton's words will inspire you to feel a deeper connection to a place you might call home. Perfect prose for Australians and travelers alike, the book is a great way to come to an understanding which this large island would take years to expose itself.
I recommend reading Winton's other works, particularly Breath & Land's Edge!
- Pete Adams