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The Apostle Bird is a beguiling tale set in Noltenius Creek, Southern Australia, during the bleak 1930s where scratching for gold is the only hope of survival for Neil's ailing family. They have fallen on hard times, and as Neil struggles with the bitterness he feels about his change of lifestyle he becomes entranced by the mysterious Kitty. At first he lacks the confidence to fight his only friend--the bullying Humphrey--for her affections, but just as the apostle bird of the title strengthens and flourishes following its brush with death, so too does Neil as he gains respect for himself, and from Kitty.
Garry Disher cleverly uses the backdrop of a harsh, cruel landscape to echo the emotions of a boy about to face his own personal demons, making The Apostle Bird a poignant and intelligent novel that glistens as brightly as the gold that is hidden in Noltenius Creek. --Susan Harrison
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