A Loving, Faithful Animal

16 May 2016

Josephine Rowe

Reviewed by Stevie-Lee Lovejoy – Graduate Certificate in Arts (Writing, Editing and Publishing)

Josephine Rowe’s debut novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal, uncovers the wounds of war.

When his home becomes his battleground, and the enemy stares back from his reflection, Jack runs.

Ru struggles with her dad abandoning her. Ru’s sister, Lani, wants to escape, just like her dad, to be free from her smothering small-town life in the country. Evelyn nervously awaits her husband’s return, sinking back into a time before bruises replaced her blush.

Rowe’s writing is raw and relentless; her words capture the ingrained, emotional scarring of Vietnam War veterans, and the struggles experienced by families who were left to fight the demons the soldiers carried home.

Intricate details woven throughout the story give the true sense of post-war Australian life. A Loving, Faithful Animal graciously portrays a family surviving the scars of war as Jack – although no longer a soldier – is imprisoned by a war within.