Reaching Tin River
|Publisher||William Heinemann, Australia|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||It's Raining in Mango|
|Followed by||Vanishing Points|
Thea Astley's main character, Belle, is a quick witted, strong willed, rebellious and ambitious young woman. Belle tells an ironic story of her childhood and her obsession with a dead man. While researching the archives of a middle-of-nowhere town called Jericho Flats, she path crosses that of the long-dead, Gaden Lockyer, with whom she becomes obsessed.
Commenting on a scene in the book where Belle visits a country boarding house where Lockyer stayed, Astley stated: "About two or three years ago when I was passing an old seaside boarding house, the sort of place I've stayed at in country towns over and over again," she said, "and I thought I'd like to walk into that awful looking boarding house. If there was no-one around I'd sit there and wait. If anyone asked I'd say I was waiting for X, you know. If they hadn't sent for the police by evening I'd still be sitting there and saying I'm waiting for X. Eventually some absolutely ghastly person would come down the stairs and say, "I'm X." And then I thought, "This is wrong. It sounds like a thriller, you know, not my scene," but that's what started it off."
- Ursula Perrin in The New York Times: "Every novel has a secret heart. It may be a faint heart, a bum heart, a cold heart. Ms. Astley's novel has a case of atrial fibrillation: its heart beats strongly but erratically. Much of the early writing is inflated, contorted; the ending seems to me a sham. And yet there's the journey, ah, the journey."
- Sandy Forbes in The Canberra Times: "Astley's prose crackles with wit and acerbic observation. Her outback towns seem to leach the pages; her observations about the upwardly mobile townies are just as dry."
- Amazon - "Reaching Tin River" by Thea Astley
- "Enjoying fantasies through writing" by Robert Hefner, The Canberra Times, 15 April 1990, p23
- "She Fell for a Photo" by Ursula Perrin, The New York Times, 22 April 1990
- "A dream of escape to the past" by Sandy Forbes, The Canberra Times, 15 April 1990, p23
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