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Black Rock White City

Review by Giulietta Gigliotti (Girl with a Pen)

Winner of the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, A. S. Patric’s Black Rock White City is a book with real heart. The story follows the lives of married couple Jovan and Suzana, who have settled in suburban Melbourne after fleeing from their home in Serbia due to war. While Jovan works as a janitor at a hospital and Suzana looks after a family in a private house, the couple go through the ups and downs of marriage and life after traumatising death together. With illicit relationships, an unstable character with a statement to make and language barriers proving unhelpful, Jovan and Suzana’s lives are rocked by a number of events.

This is not an easy book to read, but it is a book that needs to be read. The content within is heavy to read because of its relevance to the world today, and makes the reader look at the delicacy of their own lives and how they treat other people. Towards the end of the book, when you think nothing else can happen to Jovan and Suzana, something unexpected occurs and made me gasp out loud. It finishes suddenly, without a resounding ending, which made me want to know what just happened, why, and what the consequences are going to be for Jovan and Suzana’s life afterwards.

Through poetically written prose, Black Rock White City is filled to the brim with emotions, telling the story of life after war and the instability of life.