During September of 1883, the town of Fairly in South Australia experienced unusual and striking sunsets. The disappearance of a six-year-old boy named Denny Wallace during a dust storm has left the entire town devoted to searching for him. While exploring the desert and mountains in search of the lost child, the inhabitants of Fairly, including newlyweds, landowners, farmers, mothers, artists, Indigenous trackers, cameleers, children, schoolteachers, widows, maids, and policemen, confront their own relationships with the intricate landscape and unsettling history of the Flinders Ranges.
The colonial Australia portrayed in The Sun Walks Down is an unfamiliar, multicultural, and vibrant place where people have diverse opinions, engage in arguments, and experience both longing and terror. It is a place haunted by numerous gods, with the sun being one of them, rising and setting on each day that could either lead to Denny’s recovery or his permanent loss.
Longlisted for the 2023 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, Fiona McFarlane’s blazingly brilliant, The Sun Walks Down, tells the story of a boy lost in colonial Australia. Told in many ways and by many voices, this novel radiates with love, art, and the unbearable divine. A visionary tale; mythic, vivid, and bright with meaning.