He is afraid to look people in the eye and his best friend is a plastic Mr Incredible bobblehead that never leaves his hand.
Nate Monk is Kieran’s father. He’s a single parent of a ‘differently wired’ child, a talented musician who once stood on the cusp of success, and a man resigned to a pragmatic life of responsibility over opportunity.
Both share the scarred aftermath of the Infernal Day. On a perfect Autumn April noon five and a half years before, wife and mother Felicity died saving her only child from a raging house fire. Although Kieran’s inadvertent hand was complicit in the tragedy, Nate refused to apportion blame. The tragic circumstances of the blaze, however, constituted a secret that a fearful father dared not share with his ‘different’ son.
But today, as the burning forests of nearby Pendarra Hill fill the sky with smoke and the TV screen with concern, Kieran will discover the devastating truth. And driven by a desire to make amends for the ‘stupid little kid’ of half a decade before, he will disappear into the night.
Now, Nate must search; not only the suburban streets and shops and backyards, but also the depths of his courage and spirit. He must come to terms with the past in order to defy a second tragedy and rekindle hope for a future dampened by doubt. He must be dauntless to do what needs to be done. He must be unflinching to go where his boy has gone:
To the fire.
Told via the dual narrative of father and son, Kindling is a compelling page-turner of heartbreak, healing and heroism. It is a story about nurturing the spark that resides within us all and fighting the flames that life sets in our path.
“5 stars…Kindling is an absolute stunner…Groth’s strength is his ability to switch seamlessly between father and son, each character speaking authentically and utterly truthfully…He has a superb sense of pace and timing…Kindling is one of those books you could put into the hands of anyone over the age of fifteen.”
– Australian Bookseller & Publisher
“A page-turner…the pace never relents…an engaging novel.”
– Good Reading Magazine
“It’s likely that those who enjoyed Curious Dog (and even the two or three people who are yet to read it) will also love Kindling. For, amongst other things, Groth suggests that accepting imperfections – both others’ and our own – is more rewarding than misguided. The story of Kindling is engrossing, and its characters beautifully realised, but it’s ultimately this kind of insight that makes the novel irresistible.”
– Readings Bookseller
“…A beautiful story that shares the perspective of both Kieran and his father Nate. Both these voices are authentic and distinct and yet Groth transitions between them seamlessly throughout the novel. This book is incredibly moving with an unrelenting pace.”
– ABC Radio
“…Groth captures the voice of both characters with wonderful authenticity. This is an engrossing novel which explores the joy in our own and others’ imperfections.”
– Better Read Than Dead
“…A powerful and moving story, woven from the simplest materials.”
– Notebook Magazine
“…Kindling is one of my favourite books of 2010. It was beautiful, emotional, poetic and enthralling…this book is a must-read. Groth is a master storyteller…Kindling left me speechless, but aching to share this novel with anyone I came into contact with. A gorgeous book that is unable to be put down and will stay with you well after reading.”
– M/C Reviews
Kindling in paperback is available in all good Australian, New Zealand and Taiwanese bookstores. I recommend you buy it here.