Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading--and forgetting.
But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a local myth, Ren is inexorably drawn into her impossible mission.
As their lives entwine, unravel and erupt--as myths merge with reality--both Ren and the soldier are forced to confront what they regret, what they love, and what they fear.
Robbie Arnott's stunning second novel remakes our relationship with the natural world. The Rain Heronis equal parts horror and wonder, and utterly gripping.
Robbie Arnott'sacclaimed debut, Flames(2018), won a Sydney Morning HeraldBest Young Novelist award and a Tasmanian Premier's Literary Prize, and was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award, a New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, a Queensland Literary Award, the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and the Not the Booker Prize. His follow-up, The Rain Heron(2020), won the AgeBook of the Year award, and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the ALS Gold Medal, the Voss Literary Prize and an Adelaide Festival Award for Literature. Robbie's third novel, Limberlost, will be published in 2022. He lives in Hobart.
'Robbie Arnott is singlehandedly reinventing Australian literature. The Rain Heronis a soaring feat of the imagination.' Bram Presser
'A book that is not only a compelling, original read, but one that delivers hard truths that urgently need to be heard.' Books+Publishing
'Arnott's vision coalesces into an affecting narrative, charged with symbolism and characters who hold trauma, pain and cruelty in the same space...As in his previous novel, Flames, Arnott is uncommonly adept at imbuing his work with a rich, lived-in feel, a world close to our own, filled with parallel myths and coinciding calamities. And as he did in Flames, Arnott reminds us he is one of the best prose stylists currently working in Australia...His is a lyrical, natural style that combines the expansiveness of a fable with fully realised detail. Arnott's sentences are truly a pleasure to read and the characters finely studied.' Saturday Paper
'The Rain Heronis literary art. Robbie Arnott has deftly crafted an audacious idea into an original, compelling work...Flamesis shrouded in a gothic, macabre Tasmanian setting. I thought it brilliant. The Rain Heronis even better...Arnott blends his genres impeccably. Nothing is overdone or superfluous...When the northerner, the seeker of squid ink, views a painting of the ocean, he is entranced by the quality and depth of its brightness and texture. It is "an artwork laced with ink", a perfect metaphor for this luminous tale.' Australian
'An intuitive understanding of fauna and flora and humankind's problematic, often violent relationship with nature...Written with economy and grace, The Rain Heronis a timeless and poignant meditation on our fragile relationship with the natural environment.' Guardian