A quirky, astute and heart-warming novel about human relationships — and a duck
A quirky, astute and heart-warming novel about human relationships — and a duck.
As if it will make up for her loss, they bring Hannah a duckling to care for. They were well meaning, and it could have done the trick.
However, Hannah’s focus on the duck progressively alienates those around her. As the duck takes over her world, past secrets are exposed. Will Hannah's life unravel completely?
This funny, moving and insightful novel contemplates the chemistry between one person and another: a man and another man’s wife; a woman and a duck; a woman and her dead mother; a drug addict and his drug. Beautifully written, it is a penetrating and compassionate view of marriage, dependency, obsession, addiction, and love.
“White handles her themes with characteristic sensitivity in this melancholy, funny and hopeful exploration of love and the difficulties of maintaining adult relationships.”
“It's poetic, gentle and wise . . . Wry and clever, The Elusive Language of Ducks transcends its bleak theme to leave us as thoughtful and questioning as its gentle protagonist.”
Stephanie Johnson, Weekend Herald
“Her prose is quite the best thing about this book, poetic and reflective, wry and playful at times, compassionate and observant. . . . Ideas are mulled over and lived through, words polished, characters coaxed into life, flavours gradually deepen. The result is writing to savour - even for those who only like duck served barbecued and wrapped in pancakes.”
Nicky Pellegrino, Herald on Sunday
“An exceptional book”
“The Christchurch earthquakes are cleverly woven into this story, helping to make a clever, thought provoking read. This sometimes humorous, often moving and insightful novel contemplates the chemistry between a husband and wife, families, a dead mother and of course, a duck.”
“Judith White’s second novel . . . features both her signature ability to sensitively evoke the interior lives of the broken, anxious and grieving, and her deft talent for juxtaposing the poignant with the comedic. . . . White’s depiction of the duck is utterly original and compelling. . . . In this gently wise novel White acknowledges the paradoxical human need for both connection and freedom, nurturing and space, company and solitude, sharing and privacy.”
Kirstine Moffat, Landfall Review Online