The House Tibet

Georgia Savage, Author Graywolf Press $18.95 (345p) ISBN 978-1-55597-144-1
``While it was happening I watched the moon,'' begins this deeply affecting Australian novel about a 13-year-old girl who is raped by her father. Vicky Ferguson is met with denial, reprobation and evasion when she attempts to share her traumatic secret with grown-ups. So she runs away with her autistic, mute younger brother, James (who will later find his voice), taking a train from Adelaide to a place called Surfers' Paradise on Australia's Gold Coast. There this lost duo plunges into a subculture of plucky street kids. Vicky is at first so naive that she thinks the bordello where she finds work as a laundress is an old hotel, but her affair with a Chinese-Australian boy, her encounters with a lethal politician, a conniving journalist and sundry other characters soon expose her to a world in which few men ``have evolved past pack behavior.'' Luckily, a wizened old man nicknamed Xam (Max spelled backwards), fellow-lodger at a boardinghouse named Tibet, aids her emotional healing. Savage's prose is exquisite, her street-hardened characters are achingly real. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 345 pages - 978-0-14-016813-6
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