The Humminbird Effect by Kate Mildenhall – Our Review


Our Review…

The Humminbird Effect offers a illuminating insight into not only the past but a very credible possible future of humanity by following the lives of four exceptional women. All who are bound by an almost fifth character, a roiling, muddy, almost sentient river – presumably the Yarra.

Commencing in 1933 Footscray, young bright-eyed Peggy falls hard and fast in love with a slaughter-house man in the local meatworks. Kate Mildenhall’s descriptions of the Angliss factory floor is astounding in its detail and scope. The sweat, blood, strength and barely leashed violence is palpable. Years later in 2020, we are catapulted into a pandemic with Hilda locked down in a nursing home with only a river view for company, where she fears the shower is washing away her memories. Here there is violence and it’s cousin neglect is being perpetrated by the Sanctuary Gardens assisted living corporation.

We move further into the near future – Footscray 2031, with Caz and La desperate for child through IVF, but knowing the only way they could possibly afford it would be to for La to swallow her morals and work for WANT (aka Amazon) which treats its workers appallingly. Forward over a hundred years further into the future to follow the river to the sea to 2181 to sisters Onyx and Maz who attempt to break free of brutal scavenger tribe.

If this sounds all rather epic in it’s scale, it totally is, yet Kate Mildenhall gracefully handles multiple timelines and story narratives with ease. Totally engrossing you’ll be carried away by this fascinating novel of the intersection of big technology, family and what it means to be human.

Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books

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