Foto de l'autor

Inga Simpson

Autor/a de Nest

8 obres 213 Membres 15 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Inga grew up near Grenfell in central west New South Wales. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the Queensland University of Technology. Her career in writing and research included working for the federal Parliament and the Commonwealth Ombudsman. She has published short stories, academic and mostra'n més non-fiction articles in the Review of Australian Fiction, Clues, Writing Queensland, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Her books include Where the Trees Were, Nest, Fatal Development, and Mr Wigg. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys

Obres de Inga Simpson

Nest (1834) 52 exemplars
Mr Wigg (2013) 51 exemplars
Where the trees were (2016) 43 exemplars
The Last Woman in the World (2021) 21 exemplars
Understory (2017) 19 exemplars
The Book of Australian Trees (2021) 13 exemplars
Willowman (2022) 12 exemplars
Fatal Development (2010) 2 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Nest is a strong up-close in-depth character portrait of nature-loving artist Jen who is the narrator. She returns home to a tropical Queensland country town mourning the loss of her partner Craig. She clings to the memory of the relationship and immerses herself in her art. Craig isn’t her only problem.

Her father left home when she was at primary school the same week her best friend Michael disappeared. A girl goes missing not long after Jen’s return. The police question her about the disappearances.

Nest is a story of waiting. The town is waiting for the summer rains and for the mystery to be resolved. Jen is waiting for ... well we're never quite sure what.

The missing girl is in the same class as Henry who Jen is teaching art. Henry is believable and entertaining. Jen is good to him and encourages him to enter a piece of work in a competition he wasn’t going to. It wins. The Henry sub-plot provides some relief from Jen’s psychological immobility.

The tension of the lingering relationship memory and the missing girl is immersed in long, languid and loquacious descriptions of various wildlife and the environment it inhabits. Jen builds herself a “nest” to where she retreats from the world unlike the birds who flit hither and thither, never staying in one place too long. The metaphor is clear though over-worked.
Jen’s past is revealed through numerous flashbacks that hinder the narrative flow in the first half of the book. In one of the flashbacks we learn about Jen’s aunt who plays a major part in Jen’s upbringing. The aunt reveals a surprise secret later in the novel that gives the narrative a renewal of much-needed tension.

The action culminates in a cyclone that reveals Michael’s remains. The investigation leads to the killer of the girl who went missing soon after Jen’s return. The police, who interviewed Jen about the missing girl, visit her with surprising news about her father.

Nest would benefit from another edit. The descriptive passages about the birdlife become monotonous; the flashbacks at the beginning of the book hinder the pace. The writing was good but not enough to sustain the lack of action and tension. Jen is a frustrating character about whom I ended up feeling indifferent.
… (més)
Neil_333 | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Mar 6, 2020 |
Another good story from an interesting author.
oldblack | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jan 8, 2020 |
Australian author Inga Simpson is a writer enthralled with nature, that much is obvious from the first to the very last page of her novel, NEST. In fact the innumerable descriptions of the varied flora and fauna of her native Australia form a natural frame for a central mystery story of children gone missing.

The central character, Jen, is a fifty-ish artist and a lover of all things natural and alive - that flora and fauna I mentioned. She lives alone in a small house in the town where she grew up, on Australia's northern coast, after having spent years away in college, art school and teaching. Recently returned to her old home area, she is in a kind of hiding, grieving the end of a relationship and the recent death of her mother. And there is also the unsolved mystery of her dear childhood friend, Michael, who disappeared when they were only eleven years old. Jen's father deserted them at the same time, leaving a cloud of suspicion over his abrupt departure. Jen is now eking out a living with small commissions and by tutoring a promising young artist, twelve year-old Henry, when their small community is suddenly rocked by another child gone missing, bringing back old unhappy memories, as well as suspicion amongst the townspeople.

The story is broken up into short chapters of just a few pages each, often filled with lush descriptions of trees, plants, flowers and animals which fill the rainforest around Jen's cottage. And birds. Because Jen is especially enamored of birds, and her drawings, sketches and paintings are filled primarily with birds, to the extent that she has become known locally as the "bird woman."

Besides the mystery of the missing children, there is also the mystery of her father's abrupt disappearance, something Jen's mother never quite recovered from. Jen, who was very close to her father, has never stopped searching for and wondering what became of this father, a lumberman, who taught her so much about trees and the forest, as well as animals and birds.

"Her father had once taken her to see a koel's eggs in a figbird's nest."

It wasn't until years later that Jen understood -

"The koels were a parasitic cuckoo, knocking the host birds' eggs out of the nest and laying their own in their place."

This revelation later plays a part in Jen's understanding of her father's disappearance. But she never forgot how important the trees, too, were.

"The trees spoke to her ... They spoke to her still. They gentled her, had allowed her to put down roots, and extend them - albeit tentatively - into the ground."

Throughout her adult life, Jen studied birds, loved their shapes and their grace, wishing -

"... to see like a bird, be like a bird, in the end she was only a lumpy human ... She was barely coping on the ground, let alone going to fly, and there was nothing as sad as a bird without wings."

Jen's story culminates with the rains coming, floodwaters which will uncover the earth's secrets. And I found it ironic that I was reading this book during the time that Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas and the Gulf Coast here in the U.S. Here is Simpson's description of the Australian floods, eerily similar to what I've been hearing on TV and radio here for the past week -

"The coast had been declared a disaster area, whole towns cut off, roads caved in and washed away. Every river, stream and seasonal creek had broken its banks, and still the rain came down and water rushed off the land; there were flood warnings across most of the state. The worst in a hundred years, they said."

In NEST, Inga Simpson has written a mystery, but one that is folded into the lush beauty of an Australian rain forest, filled with the wonder of the natural world. This is not a book to hurry through. It's one to luxuriate in, to crawl into, to build your own nest in - to savor. Very highly recommended. (Four and a half stars)

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
… (més)
TimBazzett | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Sep 3, 2017 |
This was quite a good story but I think the author could have broadened the information about the aboriginal history and connection to the trees and made the book a lot more interesting.
The parts of the book relating to the idyllic childhood of the children in their Australian country town were very enjoyable, however the parts telling of the life of Jayne were quite boring and the theft of the artefacts from the museums and her involvement was never properly explained.
lesleynicol | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Apr 3, 2017 |



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