About the author

Inga Simpson

About the book

Judges' report

Now middle-aged, Jen lives alone in the rainforest landscape of her childhood, where the dark stories from that time still haunt her. Once a teacher, she’s now an artist who gives private lessons to a talented schoolboy who functions as a conduit, giving her news of the local community. So when he arrives one day disturbed by the disappearance of a fellow student, it’s the beginning of a long story that winds back into the past.

Inga Simpson is known for her nature writing, and this novel’s most unusual aspect is the frequency with which the plot takes a back seat to the minutiae of plant and bird life – the things that most concern Jen in her artist persona – about which Simpson writes in fine and gorgeous detail. The central metaphor of the nest is ever-present, but is neither simple nor overdone; she handles her subject matter lightly and obliquely, with subtlety and a real understanding of the psychology of loss and grief.

Further reading


‘That Inga Simpson can sustain the reader with pages of observations of birdlife is a testament to her talent as a nature writer.’ – Dianne Dempsey, Sydney Morning Herald

‘[A] delightful and uplifting read.’ – Suzanne Steinbruckner, Readings


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