This exciting collection, which takes the reader from English country roads to sweltering Greece and Australia, proves McFarlane has a knack for disconcerting her readerby Sian Norris / July 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
The High Places by Fiona McFarlane (Sceptre, £9.99)
Fiona McFarlane has followed up The Night Guest with a prize-winning short story collection that takes the reader from rainy English country roads and sweltering Greece, to her sun-soaked native Australian countryside and the seedy dog tracks of mid-century Sydney.
The collection explores secrets—secret feelings and performed identities, secret histories, present deceptions. In the story “Mycenae,” two couples meet in Athens after years apart—one brash, confident and American; one nervous, out of place and Australian. As the sun beats down, old secrets rise to the surface and demands to collaborate in new deceptions are made. A sister in “Rose Bay” hides a love affair she can never admit to. Meanwhile, the main character in “Art Appreciation” battles between his outer shell of respectability and inner desire to indulge in his vices. McFarlane has the trick of disconcerting her reader—in this collection characters are rarely who they first seem.