Gravity

gravcovbigA pimple in the wilderness. Friday night.

The bar of the Splitters Creek Hotel hums with stories and laughter. There are those who work for National Parks drinking with the blokes from the sawmill. Boys who play League drinking with the boys who play Aussie Rules (and each know the others are pansies). Some drink rum, some drink beer. New mums with ankle biters who should be in bed, old mums with dentures and three glasses of cheer in their cheeks. Neo-hippies with homemade clothes and mountain beards, codgers with snowy stubble and stained teeth. And Adam.

Eighteen-year-old Adam Prince has lived his whole life from Splitters Creek. He was born in the back seat of the wagon on the serpentine road home from Orbost. He drinks beer and rum and, like his father (Hugh), when he finishes school, he’ll work at the sawmill.

Once, when he stopped his ute in the forest to take a piss, he rested his lips on the cool smooth bark of a mountain ash and breathed its cough-lolly glory.

Adam Prince is smouldering. A leaky old family, the lack of air in his small-town home and the rising damp of a future without hope have choked the fire of his life.

If Gravity has a message, it’s about courage. The courage to hold your ground as the world around you crumbles. The courage to stand when you need to. The courage to live without fear of falling.

Gardner doesn’t waste time trying to sound cool, he is cool, capturing that highly emotive age so well: the frustration, the need to escape and that frightening realisation that grown-ups are also often unhappy with their lives. Jodie Minus – The Weekend Australian

… funny, touching and ultimately optimistic it is compelling reading … Adam is a gem of a character. Recommended. Helen Purdie – Magpies

 

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