Eva Hornung’s The Last Garden is one of those quiet, introspective books in which not much occurs. And these aren’t bad – they can be very powerful in their quietness and emotional honesty.
This one was a little hard to relate to for me, although not without its pleasures.
Set in a small farming community in rural Australia, a group of religious Germans and their descendants have left the modern world behind to wait for their Messiah. But the modern world cannot be kept at bay for long – nor can the growing unease of the townsfolk who begin to doubt…
So when a tragic murder suicide occurs on the Orion farm – the populace don’t know what to think. Nor does Benedict Orion – the young man who arrives home from school and finds his mother and father dead.
Unable to face the family home, he moves into the barn, taking solace in a simple life and the company especially of the horses.
Pastor Helfgott, the son of the original leader of the settlement, has his own doubts. But amongst this is the tantalising idea that Benedict – wild but insightful – may just be the one they have been waiting for.
Full of unrealised potential in my mind, The Last Garden leaves me wondering if it could possibly have been more…