A jewel-like novel about an old man living in the mountains who comes across three runaway kids.
Russell Bass is a potter living on the edge of the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. His wife has been dead less than a year and, although he has a few close friends, he is living a mostly solitary life. Each month he hikes into the valley below his house to collect rock for glazes from a remote creek bed. One autumn morning, he finds a chocolate wrapper on the path. His curiosity leads him to a cave where three siblings—two young children and a teenage girl—are camped out, hiding from child services and the police.
Although they bolt at first, Russell slowly gains their trust, and, little by little, this unlikely group of outsiders begin to form a fragile bond.
In shimmering prose that captures the feel of hands on clay and the smell of cold rainforest as vividly as it does the minute twists and turns of human relationships, Hare’s Fur tells an exquisite story of grief, kindness, art, and the transformation that can grow from the seeds of trust.
“Hare’s Fur is a tale of convalescence, a restrained, moving story about how we discover new meaning in the wake of anguish…Hare’s Fur is about the inevitable reconfiguring of a life. It shows us that, like Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with seams of gold, we too can mend ourselves, we too can reconnect our pieces.”
—Jack Callil, Australian Book Review
“With luminous prose and ekphrasis, Shearston depicts the ubiquitously relatable challenge of handling change in everyday life. Hare’s Fur is a poignant story of the literal and figurative pottery of trust, friendship and new beginnings, dirty hands and all.”
—Jeremy George, Readings Booksellers
“At once touching and exuding charm, this still manages to pack a punch. It’s a study of what can grow from trust and caring despite grief and misfortune, that no matter what stage of life a person is at, rebirth can be unexpected and come in many forms…uplifting and satisfying.” FOUR STARS
—Scott Whitmont, Books+Publishing
“The descriptions of landscape, on the plateaus as well as in the deep valleys, have the ring of truth about them that only comes from years of walking the area.”
“It’s a gentle tale about grief, hope, love and kindness…The elegance of this novel is in the unfolding; it is in the way each of the characters comes to trust the possibility of a future.”
—Laura Kroetsch, Adelaide Advertiser
“This short novel could well become that literary holy grail: the successful young adult/adult crossover. It would also be a fascinating addition to state high school curriculums. The author of nine novels, Shearston is a fine stylist and an assured storyteller.”
—Mandy Sayer, Weekend Australian
“A wonderful novel.”
—Jenny Barry, Co-organiser of Bathurst Writers’ and Readers’ Festival, Western Times Bathurst
“This is a meditative novel about grief, work, loneliness, trust, and dealing with fragility, whether in pots or in children. Trevor Shearston is meticulous in recording the complexity and detail of Russell’s craft, and the unfolding of the plot is moving without ever sinking into sentimentality.”
—Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald