Locust Summer


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On the cusp of summer, 1986, Rowan Brockman’s mother asks if he can
come home to Septimus in the Western Australian Wheatbelt to help with
the harvest. Rowan’s brother Albert, the natural heir to the farm, has
died, and Rowan’s dad’s health is failing. Although he longs to, there
is no way that Rowan can refuse his mother’s request as she prepares the
farm for sale.

This is the story of the final harvest – the story of a young man in a
place he doesn’t want to be, being given one last chance to make peace
before the past, and those he has loved, disappear.


‘Locust Summer is about a final harvest, but it’s so much
more. Few novels have such quiet authority and insight into pasts and
futures, nostalgia and grief.’ Toni Jordan

‘Authentic, true, and moving – this book made me want to hug my kids,
my wife, my parents, and never let them go. This writer will break your
heart and fix it again, all within a paragraph. A real talent.’ Benjamin Hobson

‘I felt like I was reading one of those literary masterpieces we had
to read and analyse in English High School classes … this book falls
into that group of literary masterpieces.’ Beauty and Lace

Locust Summer is an absorbing novel that I found unputdownable, and I look forward to reading more from this author.’ ANZ LitLovers

‘In telling the story of this ultimate harvest, the novel works
throughout on a metaphoric level, moving from hints of the biblical
Plagues of Egypt to the dispossession of Australia’s First Peoples, to
the shadowy figure of the Grim Reaper. As the harvester moves through
the wheat, the men go “deep into the rhythm of work, like monks
meditating”. The Australian

‘The chapters are short, lending strength to the narrative drive …
the to and fro between mother and son, and the father’s health battles
are worth your reading time.’ Good Reading

‘This is a book that reflects on families, and grief, and memory, but
also on the challenges of trying to capture the complexity of real life
in prose …’ West Australian

‘With true journalistic precision, Locust Summer gives the reader
just enough, and gets to the emotional heart of its story quickly and
with great impact.’ The AU Review

‘David Allan-Petale’s debut is a quiet, heartfelt novel …’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘Although strongly evocative of rural life and the relentless work
involved in farming the land, the novel’s strength, for me, lies in the
delicacy of its handling of family relationships and the way those bonds
are tested by internal and external pressures.’ Amanda Curtin

‘David Allan-Petale has written a rich, complex and heart-wrenching
novel that is full of insight into how our past stays with us, wherever
we go, and whoever we decide to be.’ Westerly

‘It is a superb book – a fine, multilayered synthesis of rich ideas, emphases, sympathies.’ Sandy Toussaint

‘Powerfully poignant, beautifully crafted debut …’ Australian Women’s Weekly

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