Friday, July 4, 2014

INCOMPLETE REVIEW: The Untold by Courtney Collins


Originally titled The Burial when published in Australia in 2012.

With shades of Water for Elephants and True Grit, a stunning debut novel set in the Australian outback about a female horse thief, her bid for freedom, and the two men trying to capture her.

It is 1921. In a mountain-locked valley, Jessie is on the run.

Born wild and brave, by twenty-six she has already lived life as a circus rider, horse and cattle rustler, and convict. But on this fateful night she is just a woman wanting to survive though there is barely any life left in her.

Two men crash through the bushland, desperate to claim the reward on her head: one her lover, the other the law.

But as it has always been for Jessie, it is death, not a man, who is her closest pursuer and companion. And while all odds are stacked against her, there is one who will never give up on her—her own child, who awaits her.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 29th 2014 by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (first published 2012)
ISBN 0399167099 (ISBN13: 9780399167096)

My Thoughts
Who hasn't heard of Harry Houdini? The Big Bamboozler. The Great Escapeologist. The Loneliest Man in the World.
I wasn't able to finish this book, as it was one I got from Netgalley, and it timed out on me with 60 pages left. So this will just be a quick review of some of my impressions.

The book starts out with the primary character Jessie killing and burying her newborn, and the deceased newborn is the narrator of the story. At first very disturbing...
And then she slit my throat.
... it actually wound up being a pretty brilliant choice of narrator.

The story covers Jessie's back story, and how she met her husband after being released from jail.

...she was discouraged from listing her other significant talent, horse stealing, as it was the thing that had landed her in jail in the first place.
Jessie was part of a special program that found positions in local households for ex-inmates. Jessie is placed with Fitz, who later forces Jessie to marry him. Fitz could be a brutal man.
She was thinking that a bruise should not outlast a man. A boot may last, but the bruises he made should vanish with him.
Jack Brown also worked for Fitz, and he fell in love with Jessie, but later became her pursuer when she was on the run.

The writing was easy-to-read, the character development was pretty good, helping me to understand Jessie to a point, as well as like her. I cared about her.

I was enjoying this book when it timed out on me, and really curious to see where it went. I don't know how it ended, but I would rate what I did get to read about an A-. 


I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.

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