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The Breeding Season

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Dark and poetic . . . beautiful writing.' - Alice Sebold, author of the international bestseller The Lovely Bones

'Astonishing. The writing is visceral and affecting, the sentences muscular and beating with a linguistic pulse which makes the book feel like a live creature. The Breeding Season is a creature that might, in turn, rip your heart out or blanket you in a
Kindle Edition, 219 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  81 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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*thank you to Allen & Unwin for an ARC of this book*

2 stars.

I really struggled with this book. I so wanted to like it because I think it's a wonderful idea for a story.

Elisa and Dan struggle to manage day to day life after the death of their son. This story tells us bit by bit how they manage to navigate their way through their greif and loss. Dealing with it together and separately.

Unfortunately this was not for me. The style in which it is written put me off and was hard to get into. It is
Deborah Ideiosepius
This is a lyrically beautiful story told with a light and restless hand. Elise and Dan have just lost a child – is it a intrauterine death? But with that focal event having happened just before the beginning of the novel, we trace the inner landscape of grief as Elise wraps herself inside the feelings that are dragging at her and Dan roams lonely through the empty corridors of the experience. Because this sorrow is parting them rather than bringing them together.

Set loosely in Brisbane, Elise is
Elise and Dan have just a stillborn baby and their grief is palpable but they can’t grieve together as Elise shuts Dan out. Can they find a way back to each other?
I had a bit of a hard time with this book, I thought I’d enjoy it more as I love stories about grief and coming out the other side. This book was written in a very lyrical way and as such, I had a hard time connecting to the characters or even liking them and I felt a constant darkness...maybe much like the characters did.
I think in
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
The Breeding Season is a raw, honest and devastating look at the impact of loss, reproduction and mortality. It is also a fusion of art and science. A writer and scientist must confront the overwhelming grief they are faced with following a heartbreaking loss. It is a traumatic journey of secrets, truths and forgiveness for this couple.

The Breeding Season is a 2019 Allen and Unwin debut publication from ‘thrilling new Australian talent’ Amanda Niehaus. The
Theresa Smith
The Breeding Season is an unsettling read. The writing is wholly absorbing: atmospheric and beautifully tangible. I loved how the rains were woven into the narrative, almost like a living character in itself, its presence a force that demanded attention. In fact, every setting within this novel was brought to life with a careful attention to detail; this was perhaps my favourite aspect of the novel. It’s quite a gift to be able to use words to such an effect. Likewise, the experiences of grief ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adored this so much.
Art, grief, sex, death and science all entwined perfectly together with beautiful writing.
Lesley Moseley
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 nearer. This is exactly the style of writing I like. The wonderfully realised characters; sense of place/s; understandable choices. Found this book 'by accident' on my Overdrive EBOOK platform and am thrilled I did. Watch it take out at least, Australian Awards.

Many couples have great difficulties, comforting each other, after losing a baby. Grief also amplifies previous losses. Very well written. Such a sensitive handling.

I loved it.
Cathie Sawyer
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Allen and Unwin and the author for an advanced copy of this novel.

'The rains come to Brisbane just as Elise and Dan descend into grief.'

After the birth of their stillborn child Elise, a scientist, isolates herself from her husband Dan, an author and artist. While Elise escapes to remote areas of Australia in fieldwork missions, trying to forget about Dan and their child William, Dan is left alone wondering why Elise will not allow him to share in their grief.

When Dan and Elise both
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-top-five
I really loved this book. To say that this book explores the female-male dynamic is to sell it short and to miss the point of the story. For me it conjures up questions about the mind-body-emotion dynamic that we are all in the middle of every single day of our existence. It provoked questions such as where does my sense of self reside? In my head or in my heart? Do I understand my thoughts and emotions through the physicality of my body? Does my body read my emotions or is it the other way ...more
Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins
When a scientist turns to writing poetry and fiction, I can’t help but sit up and pay attention: the merging of oil and milk is too fascinating to resist. Amanda Niehaus, author of The Breeding Season, reconciles her two worlds in this literary debut. It is a story of all-encompassing grief, intensely poetic and full of natural imagery and metaphor. She brings together all kinds of binaries: art and science, grief and hope, birth and death. Allen & Unwin was kind enough to send me a copy for ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a great mixture of nature, science, art, life, death & sex! I must admit that I found the first section tricky to get through (Elise contemplating eating a bird and the detailed description of dissecting the bird, along with her desire for raw meat), but once I did, it was a fantastic story of Elise and Dan dealing with their loss in their own ways and sadly, not together. But the story really explored their inner thoughts & feelings whilst dealing with their grief. The final ...more
Kristy (sometimes_i_read_books)
The Breeding Season is a poetic look at grief and relationships, a slow burn that sucked me right in.

This story belongs to Elise and Dan, whose first, much wanted baby was stillborn. The heartbreak and grief they experience is visceral, this is a dark novel dealing with life changing issues. The writing however is beautiful, I found this a poetic, flowing work that I buried myself in, and in the second half of the book especially was stealing moments to read just a little more.

We also get
Cass Moriarty
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amanda Niehaus’ debut novel The Breeding Season (Allen and Unwin 2019) is a well-crafted, beautifully rendered meditation on grief, loss, sex and death. Niehaus has used her background as a scientist to build complex scaffolding around the interrogation of ideas such as reproduction, regeneration and fertility, and her own experience of illness and grief has informed the novel’s nuanced exploration of loss. This is a book that reads so fluently, and yet is written in literary language and packed ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'She understands her mother better in this single moment than she ever did in life, understands that she had to change things, unsettle things, abandon the way things were. That sometimes you have to show the world that nothing will ever (can ever) be the same again'.

Right out of the gate this book is beautifully poetic, quotable and heartwrenching as it reaches into the chest of readers and squeezes at their hearts. I was blown away by the subtle poetic and experimental nature of the prose in
Bree T
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, australian, aww2019
I don’t find this an easy review to write. I requested this book for review because I was really interested how it would explore grief, a devastating loss, one that can really either bind couples together or force them apart. But the more I got into this book, the less that grief seemed to dominate the pages. It does in the very beginning, with Elise barely able to move, can’t even get out of bed, can’t or won’t talk to husband Dan, who spends his days wandering their house as the rains beat ...more
Melissa Riley
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TW: Death of a child, death of a loved one,

This was stunning. It is literary and character-driven, which would generally mean I would find it a hard slog to get through but that wasn't the case at all.

Elise & Dan are dealing with the death of their only child, William. They are both reeling, trying to cope in their own way and unable to help the other. Based in Brisbane, the landscape was palpable.

It is explicit about sex, science, and art, it was a page turner from the first. There is an
Beautiful, lyrical, heartbreaking, true. The uncle didn’t work for me but everything else is breathtaking.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deep, poetic, acquired taste of Australian literature. I loved this book, although I can understand how it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Amanda dives into the dark crevices of grief, love and life in such a metaphoric manner throughout the entirety of this book. A page turner for anyone who is sucked in by a lyrical, complex and thought provoking prose. Written by a deep thinker, with the ability to make me cry for fictional characters! Brilliant!
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The start of the book made me wonder if this was the right book for me. I loved the poetic tone, the sentences full of images and sounds. But it looked like too much was revolving around sex.
The sadness of stillbirth and the pain both Dan and Elise were living, kept me going. And I am glad I did, because going on the book takes a very different tone. More intimate and more struggling, with antagonizing hope and despair living side by side. Deeply changing you inside.
Caroline Poole
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprising and moving novel which for me was over way too soon. There were interesting characters, interesting lives, drama and shock in a familiar Australian setting. If I read between the lines this author has many stories and novels bursting to come out!
Jessica Offer
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark Silva
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding, superb. Five stars.
Mark Booth
Interesting book but I felt the characters were not really well developed - for all the awful things that happened to them they remained a bit distant for me.
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Jorja McKinnon
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Fran Broaders
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Tamsin Barnes
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Nov 16, 2019
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