Rachel Mathews - Author
New Release

SIREN

A Fiction Novel By Rachel Matthews

A brave new novel that sensitively explores one woman’s experience of sexual violence and the silencing of those who feel compelled to speak out.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

OVERVIEW

A brave new novel that sensitively explores one woman’s experience of sexual violence and the silencing of those who feel compelled to speak out.

What happens when a young woman enters a city apartment early morning, with two footballers? Jordi Spence is sixteen years old and lives in outer Melbourne. By daybreak, her world has shifted. Max Carlisle, a troubled AFL star, can’t stop what comes next. And Ruby, a single woman from the apartment block, is left with questions when she sees Jordi leave.

In this remarkable novel, Rachel Matthews captures the characters of Jordi and her family, the players, and the often loveable inhabitants of a big city with a deceptive lightness of touch that seduces the reader. Siren reveals the often unnoticed life of a city while simultaneously drawing us deep into a dark and troubling world. What happens has an unexpected effect on all those who are both directly and indirectly involved.

The result is a powerful and haunting novel about cultural stereotypes and expectations, love, loneliness, family and our struggle to connect. In so many ways, Matthews subtly sounds the siren on sexual violence and its prevalence in our culture.

DETAILS

ISBN:
978-0-9953595-6-7
Publisher:
TRANSIT LOUNGE
Publish Date:
August 1, 2017
Page Count:
240

REVIEWS

Matthews renders Jordi’s fate and the culture behind it with sharp urgency and a surprisingly delicate hand…. It’s an acute take on the toxic culture of macho celebrity, and pulls no punches on the sexual violence it can enable, but also a story illuminated by resilience and unexpected kindness.
Cameron Woodhead, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age

A gritty and honest novel in its depiction of sexual violence against young women. This is an important work.
Tony Birch

The circumstances surrounding Jordi’s sexploitation, the jock culture and the politics of victim-blaming form the crux of this book but Matthews is also interested in exploring dispossession, generational poverty, substance abuse and gambling. Siren is starkly written, though studded with tender details that mark its sensitivity to trauma and despair: the fake Prada heels worn by Jordi to impress merely highlight her youth (“but now her shoes were like everything else. They were hurting, they were letting her down”). Like George, Matthews’ sense of compassion for her characters informs and overlays her narrative.
Thuy On, The Australian 05/08/17

Matthews renders Jordi’s fate and the culture behind it with sharp urgency and a surprisingly delicate hand. Ageing footballer Max tries to stop his colleague, a meathead named Dirk, from assaulting Jordi, but is king-hit for his trouble. The rape is just the beginning of Jordi’s ordeal, and the novel elucidates her predicament, with the familiar victim blaming as the football world closes ranks. Siren is far from unrelentingly bleak. It’s an acute take on the toxic culture of macho celebrity, and pulls no punches on the sexual violence it can enable, but also a story illuminated by resilience and unexpected kindness.
Cameron Woodhead, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, Canberra Times 02/09/17

This is a book that must be read; its message is so important. Each of its characters are voiceless in different ways, and Matthews isn’t didactic in her depictions of how they came to be that way. This is simultaneously the most disturbing and compelling aspect of the novel – nobody is poor because they deserve it – they are poor because they were poor to begin with. This is an aspect of our lived reality that is sometimes difficult to even think about. This is not a book for reading at times of emotional vulnerability, but it is a book that must be read and learned from.
Ellen Cregan, Readings Monthly 25/07/17

SIREN By Rachel Matthews

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Subscribe to get a copy of the first chapter of Rachel Matthews’ book “Siren”, as well as regular updates

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