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Responses to A Winter Sowing

I’ve had some lovely responses to A Winter Sowing – many thanks to everyone who has written to me about the book. Here’s a sample of what readers have said about the novel so far.


‘I’ve just this minute finished A Winter Sowing and wanted to tell you immediately just how fine a novel and achievement it is! . . . I had intended to read it over the course of the week but got so absorbed I found I gulped it down in two sittings . . . You have three strong, engaging and genuine lead characters (David, Josie and Lara) each of whom has their individual personal, social and psychological issues and perplexities; you have a tight plot with interesting surprises and twists and turns none of which feels forced or implausible; you’ve got the vernacular Aussie idiom of the different characters pitch perfect (with lovely child variations for Zak and ‘superior’ tones for the aspirational Margaret and BB …); you’ve taken the inspired decision to work very heavily in both action and in David’s inner mental life in the present tense. . .which lends passion and urgency to so many scenes . . . .

I think it’s a marvellous book . . .

John Clanchy


I just wanted to say congratulations again on A Winter Sowing, which I finished, appropriately enough, on Remembrance Day. . .

I was compelled by the central meditation on the power and possibilities of art as a redemptive and restorative act, and I loved the way the novel’s form and narrative so successfully and movingly enacted its thematic interests. Your central character was thoroughly convincing and engaging, and I certainly related to his struggles as the parent of a teenage child – you absolutely nailed that! And your images of Canberra in the middle of a 1990s winter were so evocative – I was right back there. The novel does what you always do so well – ask big abstract questions like how to be a good man and answer them in profoundly human ways.

Catherine Pratt


I’ve just finished reading this wonderful book written by . . . Adrian Caesar. . .I’ve read most of Adrian’s novels and this one will stay with me for quite some time!

The book is set in Canberra and the surrounding region with which I strongly identify, and follows the journey of a Vietnam veteran as he struggles with the trauma caused by his war experiences and the effect this has had on his relationships with those around him. I really enjoyed the way in which Adrian has woven in the central character’s use of painting as a way to help him come to terms with his trauma, an area of the book that I feel has been researched well, both around the benefits of art as therapy but also the process of translating his trauma and message onto canvas.

Be warned - there are some aspects of the book that may be a bit “gnarly” for some but for me the way in which Adrian has dealt with all of these complex issues has given me insight into my own father’s struggle with PTSD and at last, an understanding of Dad’s reluctance to speak of his war experiences . . .

Thoroughly recommend . . .

Alison Duffy

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