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Michaelis is four when they first move to Australia, leaving behind the cold and the snow and the mud, the flat grey landscape, his father, his mother’s family, and everything he has ever known.
He is seven when they pack up again and go home, nine when they return to Australia. When you are used to it, leaving is the easiest thing in the world—and where the sea is warm and the days linger, it is easier to forget.
But his stepfather is a bully, and the absence of his real father masks a painful truth. Before long, Michaelis learns that no matter how far you go, your past always follows you, trailing questions in its wake.
Beginning with memory’s first fragments, The Last Thread traces a boy’s journey into adulthood against a backdrop of family secrets, betrayals and unhealed wounds.
‘Michael Sala has a rare gift: in prose that takes your breath away, he tells a story of heart-rending sorrow without a trace of sentimentality.’
‘A confronting and compelling story of a family. Sala captures perfectly the puzzled silence of the uncomprehending child in a narrative swollen with unspoken secrets.’
‘A gutsy, moving, beautifully wrought and utterly compelling work.’
‘There is so much to praise about this book. Michael Sala’s prose is clear and unadorned, the setting exquisitely rendered, but it is his characters—all of them flawed and complex and deeply, deeply human—who will stay with me for a very long time. I would defy anyone to read this story and remain unmoved. The Restorer is an incredibly powerful novel and, I believe, an important one.’
‘Michael Sala is a sensitive, perceptive observer of human relationships and I have long admired his work. The Restorer is a beautifully written novel about growing up, starting again—and how the riptide of personal history can pull us further and further from safety, no matter how hard we fight.’
‘Unputdownable…Sala creates an atmosphere of simmering tension with an undercurrent of unpredictability that seeps into every exchange. [He] is a brilliant writer.’
‘A wise and timely novel that builds and breaks like a summer storm—just as beautiful, just as brutal.’
‘Sala’s story of mundane domestic tension explodes in ways both already anticipated and powerfully surprising. The narrative is real, compelling, sophisticated and deeply human. Having read this work, I will certainly seek out Sala’s debut novel, and watch with interest for new works from this gifted creator. Strongly recommended.’