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Alice Springs

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  243 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
A legacy from her grandmother sends Phillipa Snip Freeman on a personal odyssey through the Australian Outback in search of her long-lost father, and answers to her unexplained questions about her troubled childhood.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 10, 2011 Philippa rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
I have a version where the title of this book is called Cleave. I have struggled with some of Gemmell's other work - am still trying to finish The Book of Rapture - but this got me hooked and I finished it in a day. At last I found another of her books that sets the foundations of the haunting poetry that she achieved in The Bride Stripped Bare. She makes you a little uncomfortable at times but I think the risks she takes pay off - her prose can be coarse and exquisite in equal measures. Made me ...more
Jessica Campbell
Mar 17, 2017 Jessica Campbell rated it liked it
It didn't affect me like "with my body" but it kept me in. It's a sandy rough finish that leaves you needing a soothing tea afterward, but that's her style.
I am not a Nikki Gemmell newbie. I first discovered her a few years ago when I stumbled across her book The Bride Stripped Bare. I liked that book enough to track down more of Gemmell’s work. Cleave is the third novel I’ve read by her.

Cleave is the story of Snip Freeman, a 30 year old Australian artist. The novel opens with Snip making a long journey from Sydney to Alice Springs in Central Australia. Snip’s grandmother has died and left Snip enough money to buy an ute (which I gather is the Aust
Paula Dembeck
Jun 09, 2013 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it
Phillip “Snip” Freeman is a 30 year old artist and a wanderer, tough and in control of her world. She is also the product of a broken home. A bequest from her grandmother sends her across Australia in search of her wayward father Bud, who has been estranged from the family for twenty years.

Snip advertises for a travelling companion and meets Dave a geologist, who makes her aware of her rootlessness and challenges her lifestyle. She unwillingly falls in love with him, but her independent streak l
Eve Kay
Jul 30, 2015 Eve Kay rated it did not like it
I'm guessing this is one of those stories meant for teenagers who are looking for themselves. Those ones who are also very freakin' confused about their sexuality and what they seriously want to be when they grow up. If you have any of those things figured out, even the slightest, you will not be able to relate to the characters. I have nothing against young women wandering, I just don't seem to have any need for it myself.
Dec 30, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
This book is quite simply a treasure, and while following the wanderings of a semi-lost soul through the exquisite light of the outback, presents one of the most profound character changes I can recall witnessing. It is a coming to terms, a tale of acceptance, within the wide, harsh wilderness where she feels most at home.
Dec 07, 2013 Josie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book fell well short of her previous novel 'Shiver'.
I think that for me, this book highlighted that I require more than one storyline to be running in a book. This was so very one dimensional in that sense.
It was surprising to learn Snip's age, as at first I thought she was in her late teens.
I was also very let down with the ending.
Jan 30, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was painful to read, but I hate not finishing a book so I made myself slog through it. I chose to read it after enjoying The Bride Stripped Bare, but found few similarities. The characters were all unlikeable and selfish, the content was extremely dull and I did not really care what happened to any of them. Very disappointing.
Aug 31, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because it has 2 things I like in a book: location in a foreign culture (Australia and Aborigines) and analyzing of people's personality problems (Snip's inability to trust people, her father's selfishness). It was a good, easy read.
Amy Wessan
Mar 07, 2016 Amy Wessan rated it liked it
I really loved "The Bride Stripped Bare" so I picked up "Alice Springs" to check out another book by Nikki Gemmell. I felt this book was a bit artificial and pretentious. The main character Snip really got on my nerves by the end of the book. She was somewhat of a cliche.
Ann Warner
May 05, 2012 Ann Warner rated it liked it
There's some wonderful writing in this book and Snip is a compelling character. However, by the end, I felt the insight into Snip was beginning to feel repetitious. Still, I enjoyed the book and the Australian setting.
I just couldn't get into this book. There would be a few pages where I thought I'd finally connected and was interested, and then it would be gone for way too long. I couldn't identify with Snip and the author's writing style wasn't my cup of tea.
Apr 10, 2010 Dymphna rated it really liked it
Unlike Ben Guterson I don't think Gemmell went on too much about Snip's 'desperado ruthlesness'. If you're alone for long enough, sometimes you cope in the manner described and it is a big part of you.
Jan 10, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it
Eased me into Aussie slang on the way down from Phnom Penh. My third consecutive book dealing with starvation.
May 20, 2010 Posey added it
boring. i gave up.
Dec 04, 2013 Tabitha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gemmell's characters are rough and real. None have their life figured out, but that is the beauty of the book: the constant realizing and rediscovering of the self, no matter the age.
Chris Cousins
Apr 15, 2015 Chris Cousins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great descriptions of the Australian outback and Aboriginal life.
Feb 06, 2013 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yarns
Excellent story of the blossoming of a REAL woman. Interesting intro to Australian culture - white and aboriginal. Very quotable.
May 11, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it
This book is a fictional story about an amazing journey of the characters. All about what love really is.
Mar 16, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but not anywhere near as good a s Shiver.
Dee-Ann rated it really liked it
May 23, 2010
Jenifer Wilson
Jenifer Wilson rated it it was ok
Mar 20, 2009
*Lee* rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2009
Meg rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2012
Susan Kocen
Susan Kocen rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2014
Penny rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2012
Tom rated it did not like it
May 31, 2008
Betty rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2013
Kitty Taylor
Kitty Taylor rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2014
R.Chapman rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2015
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Nikki Gemmell has written four novels, Shiver, Cleave, Lovesong, The Bride Stripped Bare and The Book Of Rapture, and one non-fiction book, Pleasure: An Almanac for the Heart. Her work has been internationally critically acclaimed and translated into many languages.

In France she's been described as a female Jack Kerouac, in Australia as one of the most original and engaging authors of her generati
More about Nikki Gemmell...

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“[He] starts to talk and stops, feeling his way, as if it's all clogged up rusty inside.” 1 likes
“She can't catch on to slumber, the relief of oblivion.” 1 likes
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