The sound of horses' hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn't totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn't died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he's pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once known as One Tree...Set in hardscrabble farming country and around the country show high-jumping circuit that prevailed in rural New South Wales prior to the Second World War, Foal's Bread tells the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family and their fortunes as dictated by the vicissitudes of the land...It is a love story of impossible beauty and sadness, a chronicle of dreams 'turned inside out', and miracles that never last, framed against a world both tender and unspeakably hard. Written in luminous prose and with an aching affinity for the landscape the book describes, Foal's Bread is the work of a born writer at the height of her considerable powers.
It is a stunning work of remarkable originality and power, one that confirms Gillian Mears' reputation as one of our most exciting and acclaimed writers.
Gillian Mears grew up in the northern New South Wales towns of Grafton and Lismore. Acclaim came early, with her short-story collections and novels winning major prizes. Her books include Ride a Cock Horse, Fineflour, The Mint Lawn, The Grass Sister and A Map of the Gardens. Gillian's monumental third novel, Foal's Bread, was published by Allen Unwin in 2011 and by Allen Unwin UK in 2013. It was shortlisted for many major awards in 2012, including the Miles Franklin Award, and won The Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction, The Age Book of the Year, the Victorian Premier's Award for Fiction, the Colin Roderick Award and the ALS Gold Medal. Her children's story, The Cat with the Coloured Tail, was published by Walker Books Australia in 2013. Gillian died on May 16, 2016, and will be sadly missed.