Where the Light Falls reviewed by Jenny


In this subtle story Gretchen Shirm charts the network of relationships within a group of young friends. Andrew, a talented but insecure photographer, has made a name and a life for himself in Berlin, but his return to Australia to explore the issues behind the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend Kirsten brings up a plethora of reactions. As he comes to grips with how he feels he explores and re-evaluates his own emotional life.

The book is about how we internalise and rationalise much of what happens around us, the things we leave unsaid and the need we all have to traverse the complex and dangerous territory of our feelings. At the same time as he reflects on what has happened to Kirsten he is taking new and expressive photographs of a damaged girl, exposing her to another side of her own psyche.

As every character from Andrew’s mother to his girlfriend back in Europe are touched by the tragedy Andrew experiences a quiet resolution. This is not a page turner but it does give the reader a reason to look more carefully at everything.  It is the same gift Andrew bestows in his revealing photographs which are so perfectly described within this book.

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