The Geography of Friendship (Sally Piper, UQP)
The romantic notion that female friendships are made of irrevocable bonds that can sustain all manner of hardships and joy is at the centre of Sally Piper’s The Geography of Friendship, a thrilling story about three women who decide to revisit a cataclysmic event from their adolescence. As teenagers, the three friends had set out to complete a five-day hike in an isolated part of Victoria, only to encounter an aggressive and predatory man. Twenty years later, the women return to retrace their steps, and as the story progresses and the pace quickens, it becomes clear why these women have put their friendships on hold. In The Geography of Friendship, Piper gloriously demonstrates how to hook your readers and make them desperate to know the ending. People who loved Jane Harper’s Force of Nature should prepare themselves for anther page-turning adventure. Piper’s novel is an exploration of how the past can come to define ourselves, and a testament to the bonds of complicated friendship and to the relentless, isolating and utterly terrifying nature of the Australian bush.
Christine Gordon is the events manager of Readings and a former board member of the Stella Prize