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Wedding Bush Road

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A young lawyer in Los Angeles is called back to his family's farm in rural Australia and plunged into a complex struggle between past and present, town and country, and the secrets that haunt them all.

When he learns of his mother’s ailing health, Daniel Rawson must leave Los Angeles and travel half a world away to the family’s horse farm on Wedding Bush Road, one hundred m
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Counterpoint
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Faulknerian tale centering on the decline of the patrician Rawson family in rural Australia. Daniel Rawson, living the expat life in California, returns to his family's horse farm to spend time with his declining mother--and is plunged back into a world of the eccentric landed gentry he'd left Australia to avoid. Such wonderful characters--the fragile but indominatable mother, the elderly philandering father whose jilted mistress lives on the property and is out for revenge, her son who has de ...more
Tony Parsons
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
LA, CA. Daniel Rawson (lawyer) is headed back home to Melbourne, Australia (Wedding Bush Rd.) to sort out his family’s issues.
They own a horse farm on Wedding Bush Road.
Sharen Wells (divorced mother) has been a fixture of the household for a while.
Ruthie Rawson Daniel’s mother is not in the best of health.

Earley Derrick Rawson (aka Gates) his dad is stubborn & hard to get along with.
Fast forward; what did the headlines state in the Pakenham Gazette about Walker Dumbalk?

I did not receive any t
Mary Rakow
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Set in a rural landscape as physically expansive as it is emotionally claustrophobic, Daniel sees that his father, can't understand "how love could manifest as so much fury." And by the second short chapter we feel the same thing. In a web of shifting alliances, overlapping jealousies, legacies of betrayal and loss, everything, including the land in WEDDING BUSH ROAD feels flammable.

Late at night a dog barks, Daniel springs from his bed, pushes a chair against the door-knob, waits "for the foot
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This novel is set around Tooradin (“Toovareen”) in Victoria’s South Gippsland. I include this detail because I know Tooradin well and the novel uses the physicality of the place and the history to good effect. It’s the kind of place that is driven through. Much tourist traffic passes by en route to Phillip Island or Wilson’s Prom. In my childhood, it was known for its fish and chips – and maybe still is – the inlet from Westernport Bay provides seagulls and something to look at while you eat. An ...more
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Confusing at times until I realized that the portions in italics were not all the same character. Earthy with touches of magical realism. Felt as if there was symbolism here that didn't work for me-a boy who sleeps on the roof and enters the house through the ceiling, three huge black horses, a pony inside the house, dresses hanging from trees.
The language is powerful. The sense of place done well. Unfortunately I didn't find any of the characters likable, although all were distinct and well dra
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Daniel returns home to take care of his dying mother, only to be drawn back into the dysfunctional family he swore he'd never be part of again.

The family dynamics of Daniel and his mother and father are extraordinarily crisp, three dimensional and fascinating. Unfortunately, this makes the other relationships rather muddled and unclear to the reader. Daniel's relationships with two women are flat and feel unexplored. Interesting, but I didn't feel much affinity for any of the characters.
Robert Collins
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Tolstoy. In Wedding Bush Road, David Francis vividly captures the complexities of families, of being an expat, of coping with aging parents, and of identity.

Daniel is planning a romantic Christmas getaway with his potential fiance when his mother rings.

"My mother told me she thought she was dying. 'Dead as Dickens by the end of the year' , she forecast, pretending not to be scared."
“I’ll be back by New Year’s,” I say
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While in novel form, this book is based on the writer's own family and experiences (I heard him interviewed on radio, where he talked frankly about waiting for the death of his mother before he could write the book). His style is impressionistic: rich in descriptive imagery, sentences frequently incomplete, resulting in an effect akin to a painter making quick sketches with a few brush strokes. I felt that he captured very skillfully the complex relationship we urban Australians have with the la ...more
Theresa Putkey
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Halfway thru the book and I wasn't sure where the book was going. Lots of background story telling that doesn't move the plot forward. For me, didn't find the descriptive prose easy to read. Not what I was in the mood for...
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Daniel leaves a comfortable lifestyle and classy girlfriend behind in Los Angeles to return to his dying mother's side, for a couple of weeks anyway. He has never wanted to return there and it's not hard to see why; it's an absolute train-wreck! The characters and life-style is this rural area are brilliantly described; each one larger than life and each one tragic in their own way. The tensions, jealousies, sorrows and animosities combine to create a tension that is a powder-keg. Daniel gets dr ...more
Daniel is a 35 year old lawyer with a highly paid job in L.A., living with his girlfriend who he's about to propose to. Just days before Christmas he receives a call from his mother, Ruthie, in Australia telling him she's dying. it's been 7 years since Daniel was last home to the farm, and he finds he now has to negotiate some different (and complicated) relationships.
His father now lives with Elsie, yet hankers after Sharen, mother of Reggie, a strange boy who spends a lot of time in the roof c
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
It starts well although the author's writing style is a little idiosyncratic. The imagery of the countryside is vivid and conveys a sense of isolation although the farm is not far from anything else. This establishes a aura of impending doom, you know something bad is going to happen. Unfortunately I lost interest in the main protagonist halfway through the book - he is too much a product of his parents- he inherited the worst characteristics of both and just wasn't very likeable. I usually like ...more
Darrell Bevan-ridge
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
picked this up in LA - sincere enough but a real part timer, attempts to hide seemingly autobiographical elephants with a pinkie finger which was lame. good gift for a mum that isn't into books
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Real and surreal at the same time!
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the voice of this book. Really liked so much about it. Can't wait to talk to David on the radio.

Read it twice and loved it more the second time.
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May 22, 2018
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Apr 27, 2017
S M Kilgour
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Dec 30, 2016
David Barrett
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May 26, 2017
Zofia  Legg
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2016
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Jun 26, 2016
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow!, beautiful book, great writer,
I've ordered Stray Dog Winter
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Jun 17, 2017
Anne Wright
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Nov 12, 2016
Nathan McMahon
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May 06, 2018
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David Francis, based in Los Angeles where he works for the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm, spends part of each year back on his family’s farm in Australia. He is the author of The Great Inland Sea, published to acclaim in seven countries, and Stray Dog Winter, Book of the Year in The Advocate, winner of the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Prize for Literature, and a LAMBDA Literary A ...more

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