The Secrets of the Huon Wren - Claire van Ryn
A deeply moving novel of love and loss set in the majestic mountains of Tasmania's Central Highlands.
Senior journalist Allira is writing a story for Folk magazine when she meets Nora, a nursing home resident with dementia and a doll cradled lovingly in her arms. Bit by bit, Nora reveals details about her younger life as a spirited teenage girl living beneath the Great Western Tiers in Tasmania’s heartland, of stitching linings into coffins, of her illicit romance with a charming Polish-German migrant, and of a family torn apart by heartbreak.
As the two women form an unlikely friendship, Allira becomes helplessly drawn into the old woman’s story. When Allira opens up to Nora about her own recent tragedy, the secrets embedded in the story of a carved Huon pine wren become the key to a life-changing discovery from the past. It is a revelation that finally fills in the missing pieces of Nora’s history and has the power to set them both free.
Set among the picturesque mountain ranges of Tasmania’s Central Highlands, and moving between the 1950s and the present day, The Secrets of the Huon Wren is a lyrical and highly evocative story about two lives connected by a shared tragedy, and a universal love.