‘The Choke’ by Sophie Laguna



Genre: Australian Fiction

“I never had words to ask anybody the questions, so I never had the answers” -The Choke 

‘The Choke’ is the latest novel by critically acclaimed author Sophie Laguna. Laguna won the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel ‘Eye of the Sheep’ and this latest work has been highly anticipated and already received a lot of praise.

This is the story of a young girl called Justine who, after being abandoned by her mother and with a father in and out of jail, is brought up by her grandfather on the banks of the Murray River in rural South Australia.

A shy and inquisitive girl, Justine must navigate a world far beyond her years. Her grandfather, though caring, is haunted by his experiences of the Burma Railway during WWII. Her father exposes her to a life of crime and neglect, in which she must silently observe until she can fight back.

Laguna presents a world of male dominance and power and shows how a child’s compassionate perspective of the world is what shows the strength of the human spirit.

This is a gripping book and Laguna has a wonderful writing style. Her descriptions are simplistic but immensely powerful. What has been described as a ‘haunting read’ I’m surprised how innocence can still thrive throughout.

A great read!


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