The Natural Way of Things
She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, ‘I need to know where I am.’ The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, ‘Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.’
Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of nowhere. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue — but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.
The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
Charlotte Wood’s 5th novel has received critical acclaim since its release. Additional to a long list of awards, the book has notably been shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize and long-listed for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Through the narrative readers are taken into a dystopian world, exploring the themes of misogyny and corporate control to make a stark comment on our world and ourselves. The Natural Way of Things demonstrates Charlotte Wood’s skill as one of Australia’s finest contemporary writers.
Winner, The Stella Prize 2016: Winner, Indie Book of the Year 2016; Shortlisted, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2016; Shortlisted, ABA Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Award 2016; Longlisted, Australian Book Industry Awards, 2016; Longlisted, Miles Franklin Literary Award 2016, Longlisted Nita B Kibble Award 2016.