The Shepherd’s Hut is deceptively simple, but it describes the characters’ confrontation with their exile in an uninhabited part of Western Australia and their reflections on who they are, what contributions they have made and can make in the future, on their sense of place in the physical and spiritual world. One of the characters is in self-imposed exile because he is afraid to be accused of killing the stepfather who mistreated him his whole life while his death was wholly accidental. The other one claims to have been exiled from the priesthood through some never-revealed fault. These two imperfect yet resilient beings strike a bargain to help each other survive. While they both feel that are very far away from any civilized establishments, they are in fact not, and their blindness to the proximity of others and potential evil eventually disturbs the order they have so precariously achieved.
A great book for Tim Winton’s fan, as well as those who are looking for a good start into his body of work. I would still recommend Cloudstreet as a first novel though.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for making a copy of this book available for review. It was published in July 2018.
Winton, Tim. The Shepherd’s Hut. Picador, 2018.