Where the Line Breaks
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Matthew Denton is convinced that war hero Lieutenant Alan Lewis VC of the 10th Light Horse Brigade is Australia’s most famous World War I poet, The Unknown Digger. Desperate to prove it, he embarks on a PhD, but is his worship of Lewis clouding his judgement? In an interesting stylistic choice, Burrows alternates between Lewis’s point of view as he tells his own story of love and war, and chapters of Denton’s thesis, littered with personal footnotes which leads the reader to question the validity of his statements. Melding real-life historical texts with fictional ones, this stunningly ambitious novel challenges us to question the history we know, the stories we’re told, and what makes a hero. A beautiful debut worthy of its 2019 Fogarty Literary Award shortlisting, Burrows handles the content delicately and with skill.