While I was away at the farm I read Cate Kennedy’s wonderful new novel The World Beneath (Scribe publishing). It had me hooked from the first pages I read in Avid Reader.

It was the bit of grit in the pottery coffee mug that did it.

Cate’s eye for human detail we can all relate to leaps from every page. I had to force myself to put the book down sometimes, even though I wanted to swallow it whole. I needed to make the pleasure last. The three main characters, single earth-mother, anorexic teen and befuddled peter pan absent dad were instantly recognisable and somehow she managed to make us feel for all of them equally. (Though I admit a soft spot for the mother.)

If you only have a little money to spend on books this year, make this the one you buy.

At first I was depressed by how good Cate’s writing was, but then I decided there is PLENTY of room for all of us. She’s been writing and publishing (she has two books of poetry and one memoir already) a lot longer than me and has spent years writing this, her first novel. I’m willing to follow where she leads.

Go Cate! It’s going to win prizes this one.

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