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One family, one day, one act of inexplicable violence -- and a lifetime spent trying to make sense of it

One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.

But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.

In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.

Reviews

Idaho is a world of vivid particularity, a collection of evanescent traces and tracks, stains and remnants

Guardian

It’s a set-up that reads straight out of the darkest of psychological thrillers … That an act of such brutality inspires storytelling as beautiful as this is reason enough for this debut novel to stand out from the crowd

Independent

Writing that has the cool sharpness of lemonade... Unflinching, unfrilly, multi-layered storytelling that is both beautiful and devastating

Rachel Joyce

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780701189099

    January 30, 2017

    Chatto & Windus

    320 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780701189082

    March 15, 2017

    Chatto & Windus

    320 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Extract

2004

They never drove the truck, except once or twice a year to get firewood. It was parked just up the hill in front of the woodshed, where it collected rain in the deep dents on the hood and mosquito larvae in the rainwater. That was the way it was when Wade was married to Jenny, and that’s the way it is now that he is married to Ann.

Ann goes up there sometimes to sit in the truck. She waits until Wade isn’t paying attention. Today, she comes here under the pretense of getting firewood from the woodshed, dragging a blue sled over the mud and grass and patches of snow. The woodshed isn’t far from the house, but it’s hidden from view by a stand of ponderosa pines. She feels like she is trespassing, like none of this is hers to see.

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