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Where We Begin

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  10 reviews

Seventeen-year-old Anna is running into the night. Fleeing her boyfriend, her mother, and everything she has known.

She is travelling into the country, to the land and the grandparents she has never met, looking for answers to questions that have never been asked.

For every family has sec
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Pan Australia
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Well that sure was 1000% more traumatic than anticipated.

What a mess.


Where do I begin? (See what I did there)

The blurb tells us Anna is running away from home. The destination: her grandparents' place (in country Victoria). Grandparents she has never met, so clearly there's a secret there. Plus, there's all the secrets surrounding why she's running. And secrets surrounding the weird relationship between Anna's grandparents and Leonie, an old friend of Anna's mum. Secrets, secrets, secrets.
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anna could see the ramshackle, debilitated home from the roadside as the coach drove into the night, the letter from her grandmother safely in her pocket. Anna departed Sydney for the small country town in Victoria, a life of uncertainty among the dry, desolate pastures, anxious and alone.

Anna's estranged grandparents hadn't expected their seventeen year old granddaughter to visit, considering their daughter abandoned the family home and her family before Anna was born. Anna is in turmoil, her m
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one is deliberately scarce on details, as I think it's one best going into with less detail. Anna is seventeen and a straight A student, completing her studies with the goal of studying medicine to become a doctor. She is off to visit grandparents she has never met, trying to escape her boyfriend and mother and make a new start, reasons for which become apparent throughout. But when she arrives, she realises that the family dynamics are far more complex than her mother had ever let on and a ...more
Raathi Chota
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites
Immediately we’re drawn into the world of Anna, yes we have questions as she rocks up on her grandparents’ doorstep unannounced but Nieman wrote it mysteriously where we’re not entirely left in the dark. We can come up with our own theories as the book flows gradually at a steady pace. One moment you think you know what’s going on, then—BOOM—something else occurs. Yet not too much to tear it away from the central idea. There was foreshadowing—once, if I’m not mistaken, and it was presented well ...more
Amanda  C
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one from Christie Nieman and once I had started reading I had a lot of trouble putting it down! I thought it was so wonderfully written and I loved the hint of mystery that was present throughout the story as it was quietly haunting and had me quickly turning the pages to find out what was going to happen! I really liked the characters and the way the family dynamics and secrets were explored and I also thought Christie did an amazing job setting the scene of a small remote ...more
Sep 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Family secrets always surface eventually.

Anna jumps of a bus and heads into the middle of nowhere leaving her mother and boyfriend with no clue where she is. She heads to her estranged grandparents house, having never met them in her life.

She’s greeted by her timid grandmother and settled in to her mothers old room. The next morning she meets her stern grandfather and begins exploring their home. Pretty quickly she starts noticing things don’t quote add up.

Anna is running from her perfect world.
Kylie Di Mauro
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Read this book whilst on holidays because I’d read all the other books I’d brought with me. It was my teenage daughters book and I had to keep reminding myself this was written for teenagers. With that in mind, it’s a good book and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would with an edge of mystery surrounding the story. However, it deals with bigs themes, but dealt with them one dimensionally in a simplistic, “all will be ok no matter what” fashion, I guess good for a YA but not very realisti ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic novel, with a strong protagonist at its heart. Combining elements of gothic with a very authentic tale of a young woman finding her place in her family and the world, Nieman writes with such care and illumination about place and about people - two things you really want in a novel.  
Michael Earp
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Does a lot of things right. Extremely well crafted novel.
Vikki Petraitis
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really loved Where We Begin. It’s a story of finding home and seeing the past through the lens of the present. The weaving of the heritage of the land for me had echoes of Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu. It was fitting that these generations have joined so that the main characters can look back on the past together.
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