Settler’s Creek by Carl Nixon – 2010

Settlers CreekSettlers’ Creek develops in unexpected ways, venturing into extremely emotional terrain as it explores the importance of a sense of place and status. Box Saxton suffers a cataclysmic fall in socio-economic status with a recent economic recession, then suffers the suicide of his son. Excluded from his recently gained comfortable life, which for his children was their norm, Box is then faced with exclusion from the continuity of his past when his son’s biological father claims the body for burial on ancestral ground. When Mark’s body is ‘stolen’ Box’ world becomes focused on regaining the body, control, and a sense of belonging. It is a difficult novel; it raises issues that deserve more rounded discussion than allowed through the intense telling of Box’ story. It is tragic and relentless, taking you through the horrors of grief and guilt, and perhaps it is fitting that it leaves you with so many unsettling and unanswered questions.

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