Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión española desplazarse por la pantalla hacia abajo

First published by Text Publishing, 2006. My copy Quercus paperback edition, 2008. 356 pages. ISBN: 978-1-84724-377-5.

Diamond Dove (aka Moonlight Downs) is Adrian Hyland’s debut novel. The action, set in the Australia outback, is narrated by Emily Tempest. When the book opens she has just return to Moonlight Downs, the Aboriginal camp of her childhood:

“I parked my little ute on the outskirts of the cap and sat there, looking at the scatter of corrugated iron hovels.

There’s enough people here, I thought. Boys brawling over a flaccid football, girls bouncing a basketball in a cloud of dust, young men working on a car, pensioners chewing on the cud. A bare-arsed tacker raced past pushing a pram wheel with a length of wire.

Fifty, maybe sixty people all up. The Moonlights Downs community.”

She’s been away for twelve years now:

“Adelaide, Melbourne, boarding school, university. I’d started three degrees and finished none of them, had a dozen different jobs, most of them in grungy pubs and bars. Done a lot of travel. Somehow it seemed always gravitating towards the drier parts of the world.”

And later on:

“I headed off overseas. Deckhanded on a yacht across North Africa. Ran a bar in Turkey. Travelled through Rajasthan – on a bloody camel, half the time. Spent six months wandering along the silk Road itself. I was running so hard it never occurred to me that I was lost”.

Emily grew up on Moonlight Downs. Her mother, Alice Limmen, was a Wantiya woman. Of her she remembers almost nothing except a thin sweet face, a Wantiya lullaby and the enveloping breasts upon which she used to muzzle herself to sleep. Her father, Jack Tempets, was a wandering whitefeller who courted, married and buried her in the space of five years.

Within hours of her arrival the tribe’s elder, and Alice’s friend and mentor, is brutally murdered and mutilated. Blakie Japanangka, a man of incredible strength and very little grip on sanity, is the only suspect..until Emily starts asking questions.

I hope you’ll excuse my insolence for copying and paste here what Rob Kitchin wrote about this “wonderful novel. Engagingly written, with good prose, a well crafted, multi-textured plot, and perfectly paced, Hyland transports the reader into the natural and social environment of the Australian outback, the worlds of aborigines and white settlers, and their interface. …………. The characterization is excellent, with Emily Tempest particularly well drawn, with just the right amount of back story that the reader understands the context but is always kept in the present. ….….…. Diamond Dove cleverly explores race relations and social and political tensions in contemporary Australia ….”. I’m not able to put it better.

Diamond Dove has been reviewed by Bernadette at Reactions to Reading, Glenn at International Noir Fiction, Rob at The View from the Blue House, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, Maxine at Petrona, Peter at Detectives Beyond Borders,

See also An interview with Adrian Hyland

I’m counting this book for the 2011 Global Reading Challenge and for the 2011 Aussie Author Challenge.

See my review of Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland (1) and Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland (2) and my post for the Crime Fiction Alphabet 2011: H is for Hyland, Adrian.

Diamond Dove de Adrian Hyland

Diamond Dove (también conocida como Moonlight Downs) es la primera novela de Adrian Hyland. La acción, ambientada en el interior de Australia, está narrada por Emily Tempest. El libro comienza cuando Emily acaba de regresar a Moonlight Downs, el campamento aborigen de su infancia.

Emily ha estado fuera doce años:

“Adelaida, Melbourne, el colegio, la universidad. Empecé tres carreras y no terminé ninguna, tuve una docena de trabajos diferentes, la mayoría de ellos en pubs y bares conchambrosos. Hice un montón de viajes. De alguna manera parecía gravitar siempre hacia las partes más secas del mundo. “

Emily se crió en Moonlight Down. Su madre, Alicia Limmen, era una mujer Wantiya. De ella no se acuerda de casi nada, excepto un rostro delgado y dulce, una nana Wantiya y unos pechos que la envolvían silenciosamente para que se durmiera. Su padre, Jack Tempets, era un hombre blanco errante que en el espacio de cinco años, la cortejó, se casó con ella y la enterró.

Al poco timepo de su llegada el anciano de la tribu, amigo y mentor de Emily, es brutalmente asesinado y mutilado. Blakie Japanangka, un hombre de una fuerza increíble y con pocas luces, es el único sospechoso ….. hasta que Emily comienza a hacer preguntas.

Espero que disculpen mi atrevimiento por copiar y pegar aquí lo que Rob Kitchin ha escrito sobre esta maravillosa novela. “Atractivamente escrita, con una buena prosa, una trama bien construida con varias texturas y con un ritmo perfecto, Hyland nos transporta al entorno natural y social del interior de Australia, a los mundos de los aborígenes y de los colonos blancos, y a su interrelación. … … … …. La caracterización es excelente, con una Emily Tempest particularmente bien dibujada, con la cantidad justa de trasfondo histórico para que el lector entienda el contexto, pero siempre manteniéndose en el presente. …. …. …. Diamond Dove explora con habilidad las relaciones raciales y las tensiones sociales y políticas en la Australia de hoy …..”. Yo no soy capaz de decirlo mejor.

Lamentablemente no está traducida al castellano hasta este momento. Las traducciones libres son mías.

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12 thoughts on “Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland

  1. >I'm glad you enjoyed this one too Jose Ignacio. Adrian is working on a non-fiction book at the moment so it will be some time before we hear any further adventures of Emily but this is one book I would happily re-read.

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