‘Before I go into my grave,’ she says out loud, ‘I will kill that man.’
A brilliant new novel from the author of Real Differences. A family favour their son over their daughter. Shan attends university before making his fortune in Australia while Yannie must find menial employment and care for her ageing parents. After her mother’s death, Yannie travels to Sydney to become enmeshed in her psychopathic brother’s new life, which she seeks to undermine from within.
This is a novel that rages against capitalism, hetero-supremacy, mothers, fathers, families – the whole damn thing. It’s about what happens when you want to make art but are born in the wrong time and place.
S. L. Lim brings to vivid life the frustrations of a talented daughter and vengeful sister in a nuanced and riveting novel that ends in the most unexpected way. It will not be easily forgotten.
S.L. Lim’s novel is a psychological portrayal of what happens when an unhinged, manipulative, violent man controls a domestic space – and the ruinous impacts it has on the lives of women and girls in his orbit.
Reminiscent of the menacing domestic oppressions explored in the novels of Elizabeth Harrower, Lim writes about the life of Yannie: a bright, brainy girl whose intellectual ambitions and longings are thwarted by her brother, Shan. Shan’s menace is enabled by his parents as a child, and as an adult, by educators and employers. Despite the unravelling of Yannie’s aspirations – and familial and social demands that she be subservient – her spirit is bold, brave, and gutsy.
Lim’s writing is tight and impeccably controlled. The fraught, charged atmosphere pervading this novel never abates. Across 230 tense pages we witness the entire life of Yannie unfold, as she shifts from a clever yet obstructed and diminished girl, to a grown woman on a quiet quest for retribution.
‘Lim has a way with language that feels both deliciously hypnotic and powerfully disarming.’ Jessie Tu, The Guardian
‘This is a complex novel about power, money, sexuality and systemic inequality, written with elegance and restraint.’ Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald