The Shadow by Sloan Blecher - Literary Fiction

Many farming communities around Australia exist more as a result of a historical connection with the land rather than the riches that can be earned from such an existence. Difficult climatic and environmental conditions backdrop a challenging way of life that tests even the most resilient families. Living in such a community can bring people together, sometimes too closely, for the good of all. Sometimes that closeness drives relationships that can be smothering. Sometimes relationships form that just shouldn’t. Perhaps they would never eventuate in a broader cohort.

The solitude of farming life can bring husbands and wives to be as one on thought and mission. They often find themselves finishing each other’s sentences. Some say they even start to resemble each other as they age. As a result, these people can be lonely despite or perhaps because of that closeness. They sometimes seek solace outside their family circles, which can test relationships and friendships. New alliances can build, and there can be calamitous consequences.

The hard edge farmers must have to survive can bring families and communities together or pull them apart. They can be tightly united or drift from their partners to find a remedy for their needs elsewhere. One person taking this direction can cause a ripple that can become a disconcerting wave. This is such a story.

While this is a work of fiction, the significant majority of the events described actually happened.