Paperback: Sorry, by Gail Jones

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Set in backwater Western Australia in the 1930s and 1940s, Gail Jones's robust fourth novel is narrated by Perdita Keene, the daughter of English immigrants, disappointed by life even before they've begun. Seeking escape from an emotionally fraught home life, bookish Perdita makes friends with Mary, an Aboriginal girl sent to take care of her during one of her mother's many stays at the local asylum. When Perdita's father is found stabbed to death, Mary pays the price. Linking personal histories with the wider theme of reparation, Jones returns to one of the long-standing themes of her fiction: a fascination with the effects of trauma on speech and memory.