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The Wounded Sinner

Book Cover for The Wounded Sinner by Gus Henderson

The Wounded Sinner

Author: Gus Henderson

Publisher: Magabala Books

Published: August 2018

An old man is dying in a grand house in suburban Perth. His son Matthew drives from the small dusty town of Leonora every three weeks to check in on him and give his regular carer a break. Matthew’s de facto wife, Jeanie, is an Aboriginal woman who is trying to find out what happened to her family before she was fostered out to a white pastor who raised her as his daughter. She feels disconnected yet drawn to the small town which holds the secret of her identity; and also closes in on her in ways she cannot understand. Her daughter Jaylene is canny and wise beyond her years while the town’s Mr Fixit, Ben Poulson has his eye on both mother and daughter. This is a story of men who do not behave with honour, and of the women trying to make a go of their lives, despite inattention, betrayal and neglect. In his debut novel, Gus Henderson uses landscape and loss to determine the negotiations his characters make in the chaos of their lives. Tackling misogyny, racism and identity through the “thorny clutter of a wasted life” this novel is an important addition to West Australian literature.

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