After months and years spent writing, authors love nothing more than talking about their labour of love, their finally printed novel, especially to book lovers and bookstagrammers.
This certainly was the case for Nicole Kelly, author of Lament, when she had the chance to chat with two members of the Southcoast Bookclub.
With two popular Instagram, bookstagrammers like @unfoldededges and @halfdesertedstreets in the bookclub, these reviews had some really great insights to share about Lament.
Another great review by Danielle @halfdesertedstreets
Lament by Nicole Kelly is a departure for me. I’ve never been particularly interested in the Ned Kelly legend, perhaps because — as a 100% dyed in the wool first born rule follower — I just didn’t *get* his passionate, rebellious nature.
What a surprise, then, to so thoroughly enjoy this story and be captivated by a fictionalised imagining of what might have been.
It’s an introspective, at times philosophical tale told from the infamous bushranger’s point of view, but it begins at the point where the usual stories end and asks instead: what would have happened if the ambush of the train near Glenrowan was a success — if such a grisly enterprise could have been called a success? What would have come next for Ned and the rest of the Kelly gang?
Painting a new picture of Ned
Lament offers Kelly a gleam of hope, a chance for him to try to set the story straight, have his message heard and understood.
Nicole Kelly (no relation, alas, just a lovely coincidence) paints a sympathetic picture of Kelly as gentle and loyal, less a rebel and more a dreamer and idealist, bound by a sense of duty to pursue what he believes is true justice.
His voice is vulnerable and occasionally wracked with uncertainty as he second-guesses his choices and wonders at the repercussions of his actions for those he loves.
The story trundles along with a good sense of action, punctuated by flashbacks that reveal Ned’s motives and the fears he carries.
I particularly enjoyed the intelligent, lively female characters, their portrayals sending me running to Google to find out more. And the omnipresent shadow of the noose, which pursues the Kelly gang on its quest, builds a sense of haunting fate and a constant question: in this reimagined narrative, will the boys outrun their deaths? ✨
Thank you to @hawkeyepublishing for sending this review copy my way.