Archive | June, 2018

Van has finished reading… The Hope Fault by Tracy Farr

7 Jun

the hope fault


Blessed be the quiet ones, those books that whisper rather than parade or shout, those books that make us feel like conspirators rather than voyeurs, those books that don’t hail us, ‘come on in’, with a pat on the back but simply leave the door ajar, maybe cast a follow me glance over the shoulder. If, like me, you like the quiet ones you’ll like Tracey Farr’s The Hope Fault.

The book follows events over a long weekend as an extended family come to pack up the summer house they’ve just sold. In picking through the house, through finding objects lost or forgotten, through retelling stories long left untold the threads that bind them are pulled ever tighter. Only time will tell if they’re strong enough to hold.

It feels strange to consider the characters in Tracy Farr’s The Hope Fault separately. Don’t get me wrong, they are each separate and distinct, characters in their own right but the manner in which this tale is told, the vantage point the reader occupies lends them a sense of wholeness that lifts things out of time or distance. It’s a strange magic, as though there could have been a line in there somewhere that places the reader as a watching spirit, a departed relative, or even as the house itself. What they do feel like above all else is a gathering of real people. You can care about them, feel for them, and in this Tracy Farr leaves all the schmaltz and syrup aside so their souls can breathe and that’s a beautiful thing.

Where that magic comes from, undoubtedly, is the lull of the writing. There are two books within The Hope Fault – one a book of fairy, or faery tales, the other a slim collection of poetry with the language of geology at its heart – and the skill with which Tracy Farr weaves these books into the fabric of this family’s history is sublime. The recurring images are beautifully placed, echoing and reflecting with precision and not a heavy hand in sight. And then there’s the central section which tells Rosa’s story, the author of the faery stories and matriarch to many of the family members. Told with a canny twist, this is where that weaving really comes alive, filigree connections like feeder roots spreading into the soil, holding all together and making the trunk strong.

A change of pace for your holiday reading, something for the book club to chew over, or maybe you just like the quiet ones (who doesn’t like the quiet ones!); whatever the reason Tracy Farr’s The Hope Fault is well worth looking out for.


The Hope Fault is published by Aardvark Bureau in July 2018 ISBN:9781910709436

You can find Tracy on Twitter @hissingswan or at her website,


My thanks to Jimena at Gallic Books for allowing me to review this book