A young lawyer in Los Angeles is called back to his family's farm in rural Australia and plunged into a complex struggle between past and present, town and country, and the secrets that haunt them all.
When he learns of his mother’s ailing health, Daniel Rawson must leave Los Angeles and travel half a world away to the family’s horse farm on Wedding Bush Road, one hundred miles outside of Melbourne. Estranged from his parents, Daniel is hesitant to revisit their history: long divorced, his mother still maintains the farm having put out her cheating, rakish husband, and even in these later years her anger burns brightly.
Daniel arrives at the farm in the heat of his parents’ conflict with Sharen, an alluring tenant and ex-lover of his father now perched on family land. Sharen and her unstable son Reggie complicate an already difficult family dynamic while Daniel has to tend to his mother’s condition, his father’s contentious behavior, and the swell of memory that strikes whenever he visits the farm. As Daniel is increasingly drawn to Sharen, the various tensions across the farm will spark events that cannot help but change them all.
advance praise for wedding bush road
"Francis proves that this reckless landscape also has a darkly seductive pull . . . Domestic drama with an offbeat, rural flavor.” —Kirkus
“Compelling and honest, Wedding Bush Road is a masterful feat.” —Mary Rakow, author of This Is Why I Came
"In his exploration of legacies, honor, and the inexorable attachment to the places which shape us, David Francis delivers a beautifully nuanced meditation on the fraught relationship we Australians have with the patch of earth we claim as our own. He captures both our restless uneasiness and our fierce loyalty, and lyrically mines the compromised family ties which make and break and then remake us all." —Cate Kennedy, The World Beneath
David Francis writes with precision and sensitivity about that most complicated of subjects: Home. Amid unforgettable landscapes and characters that are both beautiful and violent, Wedding Bush Road grapples with discontent and restlessness. Francis turns a sharp but generous eye on those who won't leave and those who can't stay, reminding us that family can be the most dangerous place of all. - Mark Sarvas, Harry, Revised
“A psychologically acute tale of the decline of a patrician Australian family and the forces arrayed against them. Class, sex and land knit together in this compellingly modern take on a timeless struggle. Gorgeous, dangerous and utterly captivating. ” —Janet Fitch, White Oleander and Paint It Black
With an eye for the transcendent detail, and a pitch perfect ear, David Francis gorgeously summons a farm in rural Australia. The wonderfully complex relationships among its inhabitants reflect nothing less than the tensions wrought by the country’s fractious history of colonialism. Who belongs to the land and to whom does the land belong? These are the uneasy questions raised by this searching, lovely novel. —Marisa Silver, Mary Coin
Who hasn't packed a bag and headed home? Wedding Bush Road is a beautiful, intelligent book about love, loss, and the unforgettable landscapes that made us who we are. —David Ebershoff, The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife
I have known David Francis and his work for a long time, and I think Wedding Bush Road is his best book yet! —Jane Smiley