A ghost story, this slim hardback is memorable for its masterful evocation of place. It’s a novella, a short one at that, I read it in an hour sitting at an outside table at the pub over summer. Frances moves to Sydney from Melbourne, and everything is strange. Nothing you could put your finger on. But something seems wrong, somehow. The houses are deep in shadows, the streets unfamiliar, the scents over powering. It’s as if the city isn’t so much haunted, as doing the haunting. This is a quick but unsettling read, far more to sink your teeth into than its size might suggest.
Springtime, Michelle De Kretser: three and a half stars.
Read it when: the shadows lengthen around you on a long Sunday afternoon.