Set in Cann River in Australia’s rugged southern wilderness, The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is a tale of a remote town haunted by a legacy, a legacy with ominous consequences.
It’s a warm evening in the autumn of 1983 when Miriam Forster rolls into town in her broken down car.
Frankie the deer hunter, is up in the forested hinterland with her gun. Old Pearl the fisherwoman sits on her front deck down by the lagoon with her whisky and her dog. And Emily, the English backpacker, scrubs out the pie-encrusted kitchen at the roadhouse.
All is not well. There’s a hoon doing donuts at the crossroads and screaming down the fire trails in the woods; a suspicious-looking city-slicker with two small children, squatting in Fred’s shack down by the lake; a beanie-headed gaunt guy convalescing at the lighthouse; and an acne festooned creature in the hotel room next to Miriam, thrashing about in the night.
Gran Parks is stirring. Who will survive? Who will get away? Who will stay?
The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is a very unique, very fascinating but ultimately savage and dark read that I very much enjoyed. If you are a fan of Tarrantino movies, you are more than likely going to enjoy this book which starts out a little bit eerie and odd and then turns violent and dark. It was a book unlike any I have read before but I actually really loved it. It’s not something I think I would have as I tend to shy away from gruesome books but as this has a bit of a Tarantino-fakeness to it, it wasn’t as gruesome as I was actually expecting. It’s hard to describe exactly what I mean by this but needless to say that I somehow very much appreciated reading this book and would even go so far as to recommend it. I think it’s also a little bit like Scary Movie, or Final Destination, so if you like those types of films (as opposed to say Saw which I cannot stomach!), then this book is probably the perfect read for you.
One of the things I liked about the book was how it featured four women as protagonists and how they all took things into their own hands. I didn’t exactly (*cough*atall*cough*) agree with how they dealt with things but it was still fascinating to read a book with women like this at the forefront. I was, oddly enough, rooting for them all to make it through to the end of the book too. In an odd twist and turn of events anyhow. If you’re looking for a book with a feminist feel but that is also a bit horrific and dramatic, than this is the book you should pick up.
Lastly, but certainly not least, what made this book entertaining was the setting and the narration. The way the setting was almost used as a different character in itself was genius in my opinion. It made everything feel claustrophobic but also as though everyone was under its clutches and this was further endorsed at the end of the book as well. And the narration was just addictive. The lives of the women were made to seem very ordinary and boring but the truth was they were doing some very un-ordinary and far from boring things which is a true testimony to how well this book was actually written. In all honesty, the best comparison I can come up with is Death Proof, so if you have seen that film and enjoyed it, you should definitely read this book. And vice versa, of course!
Verdict: A very unique book about justice with a strong female class and a darkly humourous centre.
Reviewed by Faye