Ian Smith's Reviews > Wedderburn

Wedderburn by Maryrose Cuskelly
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WEDDERBURN by Maryrose Cuskelly An Allen and Unwin book
Review by Ian Smith
The town of the title is where it all happened, the triple murder that is, and this is all about that event as you might expect. However it’s also much more, especially the events beyond the bloody crime scenes left behind.
It begins with a detailed description of the horrific events that took place on that October day in 2014. How it all unfolded, the event itself and the immediate aftermath. That PTSD is involved in a couple of the individuals there can be no doubt. From then on come the details but, more importantly, how different people view the story.
Those who are family, located nearby, or knew the deceased and the perpetrator are all approached for their take on events and this is what makes it different from many similar books on this type of subject. Those who allow an interview each have their own chapter, their view on the happening, how it came about and, importantly for me, what happened afterwards.
How peoples felt, but rarely uttered, prejudices come to the fore and disrupt the community afterwards is the part I felt fascinating. Long held resentments boil over and some innocent families have to leave Wedderburn as a result.
Maryrose attends the multiple court hearings, complicated because the defendant constantly changes or wants to change his plea on the first killing to self defence. She gets to meet some of the family members and learns more about the estrangement of many of them and how rifts that have never healed show their ugly side. There was more than one person who uttered the phrase, “did the town a favour”.
Those who live in country towns anywhere will certainly relate to many of the characters, their problems and their impact on the locality. Even the aftermath as it applies to some of the animals is noted.
Though at times I thought it a little drawn out, with some details I felt unnecessary, I enjoyed this work and appreciated the effort Maryrose has gone to in order for a balanced view to be presented, one that will leave you wondering just how the town has settled down since.
This is an excellent account, told in an unbiased manner and a worthy read.
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Reading Progress

September 18, 2018 – Started Reading
September 26, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 29, 2018 – Shelved

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