The Honeyman and the Hunter (Neil Grant, A&U)
When 16-year-old Rudra’s estranged grandmother arrives from India to reunite with her only daughter, it unlocks a side of Rudra’s family and culture that he never knew; born and raised in Patonga, New South Wales, Rudra identifies as Australian. During his grandmother’s visit, the resurfacing of an unusual object from the Patonga bay uncovers a family secret, setting in motion a series of events that causes Rudra’s Australian and Indian cultures to collide, revealing a complicated past. Rudra and his mother are soon bound for Bengal to discover her birthplace and to set old wrongs right. Known for his acclaimed work The Ink Bridge, Neil Grant has created another compelling story with a strong male character in his latest book. Rudra’s journey is one of self-
discovery as he navigates adolescence and learns to deal with change and cope with grief. Grant evokes an absorbing sense of place, pulling you from the salty bay in Patonga to the bustling streets of Kolkata to the jaws of a tiger’s mouth in the Indian jungle and back again. Exploring the complex relationship that exists between parent and child, Grant’s use of language and setting create an unusual and powerful story recommended for readers aged 14 and up.
M H Alessandrino is a Perth-based writer and freelance reviewer