Hitch (Kathryn Hind, Hamish Hamilton)
Kathryn Hind was the recipient of the inaugural Penguin Australia Literary Prize in 2018 for Hitch, a contemporary novel set in Australia. The protagonist, Amelia, is a naive young woman who takes to the road after her mother’s funeral. On a fast-paced journey from the Northern Territory to Victoria, Amelia is detached from the people she meets and the landscape she travels through. What’s troubling Amelia is provided through disjointed snippets of memories, such as the trek Amelia took with her mother before she passed away and unwanted thoughts of an ex-boyfriend. Through these memories, and postcards to her friend Sid, it’s implied that Amelia doesn’t have family or friends that can help as she reconstructs her life. All she has is Lucy, her loyal dog. Hind has reimagined rural and remote locations and the distances between them, making them almost unrecognisable. She’s conjured up exaggerated characters, locals and other travellers for the protagonist to observe or interact briefly with. Some of these encounters are uncomfortably bizarre and unresolved. The writing style and narrative will make it appealing to readers of young adult or commercial fiction.
Karen Wyld is a freelance writer and author