An evocative debut about one Australian family dealing with prejudice and change in the turbulent 1960s.
War ends and the world changes, as it always does. The enemy are no longer the enemy - just people living their lives. But hate is hard to extinguish. The scars of war are not always visible, and they don't always fade. They haven't for Merna Gibson and they definitely haven't for her husband, Frank. He won't ever forget what was done to him and his mates. The nightmares, the aches, the pain of seeing things a person should never see stay with him, always. The long-ago war colours their family life.
For Merna, at home on the farm, Japan is very far away. For Frank, it isn't far enough. But their son, Paul, doesn't carry the same beliefs. For him, Japan is a place of possibility, a country to embrace. Father and son live worlds apart even when at the same table. Hate and prejudice has created a gulf between the two.
When a woman comes into their son's life, it is left to Merna to try to bridge the gap. Caught between the two men she loves she is determined to keep her family together, while still everything keeps changing.
THE RETURN is a powerful story about love, hate and forgiveness that will stir your heart.
brings alive an Australian period and landscape that is only thirty or so years in the past, but which might as well be a century ago ... elegant and moving. - Andrew McGahan
this post-WWII bush drama unfolds with masterly sensitivity and tact - Country Style magazine
memorable - Daily Telegraph
Silvia Kwon was born in Seoul, South Korea. She came to Australia at the age of nine with her family and grew up in Perth. After studying art history at the University of Western Australia, she worked in community arts before deciding to move to Melbourne to pursue a career in publishing. She has worked at Oxford University Press, Black Inc and Coulomb Communications, a small non-fiction publishing outfit, which she founded with a friend. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and son. THE RETURN is Silvia's first novel. She is currently working on her next book.