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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The forest is earth and leaves, sun and shade, feather and blood and bone. It is the old way, the true way, the wild way to live. But, for Kian, wilderness is not home.
216 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by Penguin (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Aug 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, aww
3.5 ★s

The forest is earth and leaves, sun and shade, feather and blood and bone. It is the old way, the true way, the wild way to live. But, for Kian, wilderness is not home.

Kian, a five-year-old ex-tom, Jem and Cally, two kitten siblings, are dumped in the forest. Kian wants nothing more than to find his home, but first they have to run the gamut of the wild, & the feral creatures living there. For Jem & Cally it's more of an adventure, they're young enough that picking up the wild ways will no
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I felt that 'Forest' was full of cats kicking ass and yet on the other hand also an emotionally touching novel. The fact that the animals could talk and it was written in third person which made the book more of the talking and dialogue rather than the actual story. For cat lover like myself I could understand the connection Kian had to his home and things he liked. For every cat or animal lover this book by an aussie author is purrfect :) ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Although it is a very sad story and I cried everytime I picked it up
Kate Belle
Jul 27, 2014 added it
Shelves: children-s
An interesting read with My 10 year old daughter, who kept stopping me so she could write down phrases that struck as particularly special. There were plenty, it is Sonya Hartnett after all. And her take on the cat personality is spot on. Arrogant, selfish, careless, particular. Plenty of interesting imagery to keep an adult going too.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
I haven't read this book in a long time, but the things I remember about it are all negative things. The book was an unsatisfying waste of time. I am fine with sad endings with merit, but this ending was obnoxiously tragic and everything that ever happened in the book amounted to nothing. It made me feel more cheated than "wake up and it's all a dream" endings.
There is more to the book than the ending of course, but none of it was too exceptional. I did overall like the 3 main characters. But th
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forest follows the journey of an abandoned litter of kittens and their older brother, Kian, and their journey home with, of course, detours. They encounter feral cats fighting to keep their territory. Also, they stumble upon a clowder of cats - a territory occupied by the female, the young, and the old. Here, the weaker of the species group together to stay safe in the forest. Plenty more happens during their journey back to human civilisation, including an encounter with a sly fox, a flat-cat ( ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read a handful of Hartnett's novels as an adolescent, their stark savagery painting Australian Gothic in blue-green-grey across my suburbia. Forest is the one I remember best, and it was even more delightful this time around. The prose itself is always catlike - elegant, or playful, or razor-sharp. The feline lifeworld is convincing, as are many of the conceptual foundations of their language - their insults and curses are especially piquant. ...more
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is subtitled "A journey from the wild". After some cats are dumped in a forest, you might expect the rest of the story is about them finding their way back home, but it almost completely isn't. Just thought I'd warn prospective readers. ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inside the mind of feral and urban cats. Very descriptive language, I loved it, but sometimes wondered if it was too much, mostly it wasn't, it read like poetry. ...more
Beau N.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this one as part of a university course, in, I think, 2005.

I thoroughly enjoyed that course and all the books we read.
Sonya Hartnett is one of my favourite authors, and Forest did not disappoint.
Laraine Anne Anne
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the back cover: The forest is earth and leaves, sun and shade, feather and blood and bone. It is the old way, the true way, the wild way to live. But, for Kian, wilderness is not home.

When I informed an Australian writer friend that her fellow countrywoman Sonya Hartnett had won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature and she replied that she had never heard of Sonya, I made her curious enough to go in search of one of Sonya’s books and she came up with Forest. She found she could
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: down-under
Not so very long ago (though far longer than I'd like to admit) I was a university student taking Summer courses to pass the time. One of these was a Young Adults Fiction class, and "Forest" was on the reading list... I did not read it. In fact, I think it is the only one that I did not get around to, and when I heard the class discussion (they hated it! they loathed it to its very core!) I vowed that one day, I would not only read - but I would enjoy - this book.

Many years later, the spark of r
Heidi Kennedy
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I found Forest, which I listened to on audiobook, difficult to warm to initially, it was a story that I loved in the end and I think it will stay with me forever. It is interesting to think what children would make of it as it is neither cute nor formulaic in its representation of the cats or life in the Australian bush. But then, is it kids who would find this off-putting or the adults who guide them?

While Hartnett does anthropomorphise the cats and other creatures to some extent, as muc
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I cannot fault this novel in the sense it was written well. It was written from the viewpoint of the cats. However, for some inexplicable reason it just didn't quite make me feel the emotions I have read from other reviews. My strongest emotion was anger that humans dump animals at all. If you love cats then this is a great book. ...more
Kenmore SHS
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, australian
Just bought a new edition with the gorgeous cover.
This book won the CBCA book of the year competition in 2001 and has stood the test of time. I love a story told from the animal's perspective, which highlights humanity's thoughtless and seemingly arbitrary acts of cruelty and neglect towards animals that are supposed to be our companions.
Sad but thought provoking.
Lync Lync
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From the opening lines I knew what I was getting into but I still read on. Kian is just too well adapted to the ways of humans. The two kittens though, they adore Kian, look up to him, and are torn between his stubborness and the new enticing ways. In a way it is a happy ending but it didn't feel like it. Sonya Hartnett was not writing a fairy tale. ...more
Kel Sta
Jul 23, 2012 rated it liked it
EB listened to the Bolinda Audio Book of this novel. ISBN: 1 74093 115 7

She said it was very sad, and very realistic. She told me a fair few details from the story, so obviously found it engrossing.
St Clare's Library
Apr 24, 2011 marked it as to-read
A very different read but interesting if you like cats.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Sonya Hartnett books but when I saw this one was about a feral cat I didn't think I would like it. Wrong! This woman could make a story about a fly crawling up a wall impossible to put down. ...more
May 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
I hate cats
rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2014
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Sep 28, 2016
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Apr 02, 2015
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Nov 25, 2014
Jenna Baldwin
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Dec 14, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2014
Hayley Supple
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Mar 17, 2013
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Sep 01, 2013
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Sonya Hartnett (also works under the pseudonym Cameron S. Redfern) is, or was, something of an Australian child prodigy author. She wrote her first novel at the age of thirteen, and had it published at fifteen. Her books have also been published in Europe and North America. Her novels have been published traditionally as young adult fiction, but her writing often crosses the divide and is also en ...more

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