I learned a new word reading this book ‘friction’, which is the way French describes his novel: a mixture of fact and fiction giving you ‘friction’. In the telling of any story the mix of fact and fiction rub up against each other creating friction between the two to the point where both are melded together. French draws on his experiences growing up in a family with various degrees of autism, a distant mother, a love of nature and fly fishing to weave a beautiful story.
A young man out in the Australian bush meets a young woman in a bogong. They have a weird conversation about native moths and fly fishing for trout and are mutually intrigued. Over the next ten or so years they write letters, using them as a means to tell their stories and piece together the truth about themselves. Cherry is in Dunedin, New Zealand, and Zack is in Australia. Both have autistic siblings and this has shaped their families. They also have friends in common and a love for art and nature.
I loved the way the story is interesting, it captures both the Australia and New Zealand landscape and a love of nature. A beautiful read.