Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson
Dark and dangerous, brilliantly unsettling and chillingly funny, this extraordinary debut shows us what we usually deny – the uneasy truce we make with our ruthless desires and gothic fears, and how easily it can be broken. Prize-winning author Chloe Wilson’s stories will pin you to the page. ‘Chilling, funny, and razor sharp – a writer in control every step of the way. How I relished this extraordinary and original collection.’ Sofie Laguna, Miles Franklin winner for The Eye of the Sheep The debut of an unforgettable new voice in Australian fiction, Hold Your Fire exposes the battles we wage beneath the surface.
The title story takes us into the cold war of a contemporary family: a missile-making mother doubts her husband’s guts and the steel of her son, until a playground incident escalates and brings them into the most surprising of alliances. Needle-sharp, effortlessly surprising and beautifully controlled, every tale will pin you to the page.
A young couple move into a house in which there’s been a recent murder, and fall under the spell of their peculiar, commanding neighbours. Two sisters are determined to detoxify themselves into perfection. A diver pushes herself and those around her to higher and higher leaps. Interspersed with these are lightning strikes of flash fiction: we glimpse a leopard in the apartment next door; plants grown out of a strange and miraculous soil; the spirit of a girl who’s been thrown down a well. At each turn, Chloe Wilson offers a unique insight, a tear in the veil of our moral certainties. Her stories strip away the varnish of our decency to reveal the raw mechanics beneath.