What the ground can't holdTwo Americans are presumed dead and nine people are trapped in a cabin after an avalanche in the remote Andes…

 Among them is Emma, an Australian faced with an impossible decision that could see her parents jailed.

 Jack, a teenager obsessed with Jack Kerouac, guided by a skewed moral compass.

Carmen, a tango dancer whose estranged father is dying of cancer.

Pedro, the cabin manager who’s in hiding from those he loves most. And Wolfe, an American on a deadly family quest.

 With food supplies dwindling, these unlikely companions are forced to extremes and discover they are bound by more than their surroundings –

each has a secret that links them to Argentina’s Dirty War.

Is a good novel more than just an entertaining story? Should it impart some knowledge? Should it leave you with just a little uncertainty concerning its outcome? Are the gray areas just as important as the black and whites?

If you answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions, then you will enjoy Shady’s latest offering, What the Ground Can’t Hold. We will be speaking to Shady next month, and we have plenty of questions, so this review will be short …

Largely, our club gave this book the thumbs up. Everyone found it a compelling read that both entertained and informed. For example, few of us knew anything about the Dirty War of Argentina, and the multiple viewpoints provided by the main characters kept the reader intrigue up a notch or two, culminating in an omniscience state that gives plenty of room for analysis. We had slightly differing views concerning the conclusion, but generally it was decided that short of a clean, tidy finish, the book’s finale was accepted (to a point), but a sequel would not be out of the question for those of us who demand further evidence of a story’s outcome.

A more in depth review will be posted after our Audience with Shady Cosgrove on Wednesday 20 August. Join us for a great evening of literary discussion in the Kurrajong Hall, Ribbonwood Centre, Dapto from 5:30pm. Everyone welcome.

shady cosgrove