This item is out of print.


Amanda Curtin


Purchase the second edition here. 


It has taken a lifetime for me to see that the more afraid people are of the darkness, the further into it they will flee.

Nearing the end of her life, Meggie Tulloch takes up her pen to write a story for her granddaughter. It begins in the first years of the twentieth century, in a place where howling winds spin salt and sleet sucked up from icefloes.

A place where lives are ruled by men, and men by the witchy sea. A place where the only thing lower than a girl in the order of things is a clever girl with accursed red hair. A place schooled in keeping secrets.

Moving from the north-east of Scotland to the Shetland Isles to Fremantle, Australia, Elemental is a novel about the life you make from the life you are given.



Praise for Elemental:

Elemental is an exquisite novel. Every word of it is tightly crafted and pregnant with possibility … Yet, at the same time, there is something almost old fashioned and timeless in its deep perceptions and observations, and in the sheer, slow beauty of its prose.


Assonantal and alliterative, and peppered with Scots and Doric vocabulary … Meggie’s voice is poetic and convincing, while a gentle metaphorical undertow invites the reader to make connections that may not be immediately apparent.



Elemental features a supple poetry of prose, a music that is both unique to time and circumstance and yet timeless and universal … It’s an example of the way language and dialect work like grace notes giving wings to a four-square dance.



Elemental continues Amanda Curtin’s fruitful fascination with memory, history and the generational legacies of family, following her debut novel The Sinkings and her collection of short stories Inherited…this is another moving novel from a unique Australian fiction writer.



Meggie’s voice is entirely convincing, and her life story is absorbing: the reader is soon pulled into the slow tide of the narrative, rolling with the rhythms and lilt of the Scottish tongue … Curtin has produced a beautifully realised character in Meggie Tulloch, and Elemental is deeply satisfying and gracefully composed.



Curtin is an author of exceptional talent and in this novel she tugs at the heartstrings without being maudlin, sentimental or twee. This is one of those novels that is at once both tender and brutal so that the reader becomes emotionally bound to the world that has been so skilfully created, not wanting to stop reading and yet not wanting the book to ever end.



Book details

FORMAT: Paperback
EXTENT: 448 pages
SIZE: 234 x 153 mm
ISBN: 9781742585062
CATEGORY: Amanda CurtinFictionOut of Print,