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The Sinkings

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In 1882, dismembered human remains were discovered at a lonely campsite called the Sinkings near Albany, Western Australia. The surgeon conducting the autopsy claimed the remains were those of a woman. Why, then, was the victim identified as Little Jock, a sandalwood-cutter and former convict? And why was the murder so brutal, so gruesome?

More than a hundred years later, W
Paperback, 375 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by University of Western Australia Press (first published July 1st 2008)
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Mar 03, 2012 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Angela Meyer (LiteraryMinded)
As you will have seen from the Sensational Snippet I posted from The Sinkings, debut author Amanda Curtin has a gift with words. I was completely seduced by this book and even broke a long held rule of mine to finish it: I never take library books away with me on any trip in case QANTAS loses my luggage again, but The Sinkings went with me to Canberra this weekend because I could not bear to leave it behind. It is that good.

There is a dual plot. Willa Samson is disabled by guilt and grief, and h
This novel runs parallel stories of the difficulties faced by people born intersexed. One set in modern times features a mother, guilt ridden by the choices she made for her now estranged intersexed child, the other a story set in the mid 1800s based on the true story of a convict turned free man brutally murdered near Albany. Curtin weaves the two stories gracefully with a well researched and philosophical perspective of both the modern day and historical issues surrounding this uncommon geneti ...more
Helen McKenna
Although the beginning chapters of The Sinkings are a little confusing and seemingly disjointed, I soon settled into the rhythm of this compelling novel and by the end I really enjoyed the way the two threads of the story (past and present) inched together and gradually met.

Willa lives in Western Australia and is just starting to function again after dealing with the loss of her daughter. Drawn into the homicide of a convict turned free settler over a century before at a place known as The Sinki
Not a bad story - interesting view on a historical point and place. I dreaded the end because I thought it was going to be horrid, but not what I expected. (Can't say more without giving it away).
Amanda Curtin's breath-taking debut novel is not for the faint hearted.

Part historic fiction and part contemporary fiction, the story of the murder of 'Little Jock' at the Sinkings near Albany, W.A., in 1882 is compelling, dense, and at times genuinely shocking.

Curtin, an editor of significant experience, doesn't sheer away the horror of poverty and starvation in the Glasgow of the 19th century. Nor does she pretty-up her topic: history and in contemporary Australia.

I've nev
Nov 01, 2008 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Chris by: authior
Superb piece of work.
Read it.
This sustained me all the way to the end
Robin Bower
Fantastic parallel journey into the past and intimate present.
Dillwynia Peter
Maybe it is the climate of my current surroundings?? For some reason I didn't love this as much as I felt I should.

Two stories are concurrently followed - the development of the leadup to the murder of a ex-convict at The Sinkings, and the narrator's journey of discovery and her personal journey.

The main theme here is - society's response to genetic sexual abnormalities. And I enjoyed that aspect; I enjoyed Jock King's life narrative; but it took me till the last 50 pages to like Willa's persona
The first few chapters were a bit confusing but once I cottoned on to all the name changes I really got into both stories and found the subject matter really intersting as I have never read anything about this before.
It was kinda weird sitting in New York City or Portland and reading a book about home - it is usually the other way around!!
I thought her writing style was just magic - almost like poetry in some places. It really kept
me interested and was one of those books you cant wait to pick up
Jacky Bock
The plot is given elsewhere, interesting and engaging. Amanda writes so so well, never a spare word but rich in emotion and detail. A clever book weaving between characters but not losing the reader. Highly recommended
Ian Reid
A haunting tale; it depicts hardship, cruelty and loneliness unforgettably; and in my mind its most remarkable quality is the way it combines its unblinking realism with a deep compassion.
Aug 11, 2012 Deb is currently reading it
I desperatly want to get hold of a copy of this book as I am meeting Amanda Curtin next month but my local library and book stores do not sell it. Grrrr...


This book arrived yesterday and I've just started it. I'm about 30 pages in and so far I'm liking it - Very thought provoking and it has a very melancholy feel to it. Writing is good but the style itself took a few pages to get used to, although I think that's more to do with the easy reads I've been inhaling lately. Meeting Amanda Curtin in
A Very sad story and easily believable! Fact of the convicts and their punishment interesting!
There was even curruption in the courts and political field, which of course has not stopped yet!!
I found it more interesting I suppose as it is set in Albany! I had to make myself read 50 pages a day to complete the reading or I may have weakened and stopped continuing but I am so glad I did not!
Robyn Mundy
A superb novel by a gifted storyteller. The lives of Little Jock, a 19th century convict, & Willa's child Imogen, are bound by Willa's grief & guilt for her part in an unspeakable secret.
Rachel England-Brassy
A surprising find, and i would recommend this interesting read to anyone keen on history and relationships.
I shall be looking out for more from this local writer :)
Based around Albany - interesting.
Sharon Baker
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Nov 23, 2014
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Amanda Curtin is a writer and freelance book editor. Her first novel, The Sinkings, was published in 2008, followed by a short story collection, Inherited, in 2011, and her new novel, Elemental, in 2013. Amanda lives in an old house in an old suburb of Perth, Western Australia, with her husband and an extremely opinionated Siamese cat.
More about Amanda Curtin...
Elemental Inherited Australia (Trav Bug)

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