Bone Memories is a book about grief and loss and the way that people find difficulty getting their lives back to normal living after traumatic events.
In Brisbane, a young mother, walking in a park with her three-year old son, is attacked and killed.
The culprit is never found.
The story moves forward 16 years to look at the effects of this event on those left behind.
The dead woman's mother Billie, her husband Angus and her son, Daniel, now 19 years old, are the main characters.
Eight years after the tragedy, Angus marries Carla and they now have a young daughter, loved and spoiled by everyone.
The four adults, all living on the same property, are dealing in different ways with the murder from many years earlier.
Each chapter is devoted to one of the four and how they are dealing with it.
The person most affected is Billie.
Now in her early 60s, she loses her job in a garden centre after taking her boss to task for selling protected grass trees without a licence.
Now she is able to devote all her attention to remembering her daughter.
Her main supporter is her grandson Daniel, who has put his life on hold to look after her.
His father is one of a number of people encouraging him to travel as a way of finding his own place in life.
Carla is the person who tries to persuade her husband, stepson and stepmother that they should concentrate on their own lives and careers, rather than living in the past.
It is not an easy task, particularly for Billie, who has a kind of spiritual relationship with the house in which she gave birth to the dead girl.
She also finds significance in the trees and plants of the area where the original murder took place.
She "thought that the earth bore her daughter's energy, her spirit. She believed this ensured her daughter's immortality."
When Carla persuades Angus that they should sell their house so that he could move his wood-turning business out of his small garage, each of the four characters has to deal with the resulting discussions.
A great deal of the story is built around this dialogue, mostly carried out with calm politeness and few raised voices.
Each character carefully tries to avoid historical weeds and potential broken glass.
The other element of the story is a kind of hymn to the earth and what lives and grows in it.
Set as it is in Queensland, the result is a delightful and highly competent eulogy on that part of the world.
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