The Earth Cries Out
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Fresh, different and exquisitely written, this is an exciting debut novel.One day we were in a dream world, where Julia was dead and the space where she once was became large and silent, and then we were in another country altogether - where stories and voices made their way into our house any way they could. They heaved under the floorboards, whispered in the windows. Creaked in the attic like a python grown too big on rats. And I collected them all to fill that silence Julia left.After the accidental death of Ruth's five-year-old sister, their father decides that atonement and healing are in order, and that taking on aid work in a mountain village in Irian Jaya is the way to find it. It is the late 1990s, a time of civil unrest and suppression in the Indonesian province now known as West Papua. The family drops into what seems the middle of nowhere, where they experience a vibrant landscape, an ever-changing and disorientating world, and - for Ruth - new voices. While her parents find it a struggle to save themselves, let alone anyone else, Ruth seeks redemption in bearing witness to and passing on the stories of those who have been silenced - even as she is haunted by questions about what it means to witness and who gets to survive.