A dark and funny new novel from the multi-award-winning author of Mullumbimby.Too much lip, her old problem from way back. And the older she got, the harder it seemed to get to swallow her opinions. The avalanche of b******t in the world would drown her if she let it; the least she could do was raise her voice in anger.Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she's an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley.Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble – but then trouble is Kerry's middle name.Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.
A daughter gets caught in her Aboriginal Australian family's complicated legacy in Indigenous Australian writer Lucashenko's darkly funny U.S. debut. With 33-year-old Kerry Salter's girlfriend in jail after a bipolar episode culminating in armed robbery, Kerry rides her motorcycle from Sydney to her small hometown of Durrongo, New South Wales, to visit her terminally ill grandfather. During a trip to a favorite swimming spot on her family's ancestral land, Kerry learns crooked local official Jim Buckley plans to sell the land, which is owned by the state, to build a prison. Her older brother, washed-up soccer star Ken, launches a crusade to fight the land sale to soothe his rage over his younger brother, whom they call Black Superman, for getting ahead with a fancy government job in Sydney. An unexpected sexual relationship with a white man Kerry went to school with leads her to discover that her sister, Donna, who was presumed dead after going missing nearly 20 years ago, is in fact alive, passing for white, and working with Buckley. Kerry cajoles Donna into attending their mother's birthday party, where Donna explodes with a secret that fractures the family just as their feud with Buckley reaches a fever pitch. With strong voices and kinetic prose, Lucashenko's engrossing narrative speaks to the ongoing traumas of indigenous life in Australia. This deserves to make a splash.
Fragmented and overly problematic
From talking crows to talking sharks, to every family crisis one could conjure, this book was a painful slog from start to finish.
If the author was trying to shine some light on aboriginal culture, she might have found a better vehicle than the Salter family. Did she finish a course in family counseling and think... I will write about a family with EVERY problem? Perhaps.