“ While at times heart-wrenchingly sad, the novel is never without hope; Richards highlights her characters’ ultimate desires for love and acceptance through gentle moments of compassion and exquisite descriptions of the natural world. Her highly stylised prose delivers a story that is as multi-layered as its characters. Part fairytale, part Australian Gothic thriller, Fusion is contemporary Australian literature at its finest and deserves multiple readings—an ideal selection for book clubs. ”
Jacqui Davies, Australian Bookseller + Publisher
“ Fusion is a reflection on love and how the manifestations of it range from self-sacrifice to selfishness. ”
Chris Murray, Australian Book Review
“ Fusion is a dark Australian Gothic fairy tale in a lyrical mode. At its heart, the novel questions identity, dependence, isolation and difference. It is a strange, bold, eerie debut. ”
Michael McLoughlin, Readings Carlton
“ There is certainly ugliness in Fusion (bullying, ostracism, abuse and death) but there are also strains of beauty running through it, particularly found in communing with the natural wilderness that’s described with depth and lusciousness. There’s a lot that’s deliberately unanswerable in this fabulist tale. It’s telling that one of the twin’s favourite words is “beyond”, for it carries with it elements of “the fantastical and of freedom”. ”
Thuy On, The Australian
February 5, 2019
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February 5, 2019
In the beginning we were a single pluripotent embryo that was so burst-full of genetic potential it considered becoming two embryos and then part way through this most delicate of processes, changed its mind. We were born in the deepest part of the night when the moon was dark and the clouds low, Venus and Mars were obscured and the stars stopped blinking for a whole heartbeat. Now, if we turn our heads in to the right or left as far as they’ll go – thirty degrees – and look to the right or to the left till our eyes ache, we can see each other’s cheek.
But not each other’s eyes.
Two perfectly formed skulls, two minds, two hearts, two or three or four lungs – we’re not exactly sure – but below the neck we’re only two in profile, in shadow, our twin heads an echo. As one with the first thrill of desire but divided by the secret areas of the body that are half numb, half electric.
Growing over the verandah of our home is a muscat grapevine, thick enough that the kitchen, facing east, isn’t sun-flooded but deep- water-flooded first thing in the morning. Pushing our hair from our eyes, blinking, half-blinded by hair and light, we share oatmeal and spice-coffee with our cousin Wren – everything bathed in green.Continue Reading