‘The voice which Corbett has selected—first-person narration by Sylvie, who so frequently refers to ‘her’ lieutenant in the second person that the tale is in effect a paean to a deeply troubling, deeply-felt relationship—adds significantly to the narrative’s innate tension….The book’s depiction of occupation is deep and multifaceted: the fierce arguments between Port’s subjugated citizens over the options of resistance, submission, or collaboration … the senseless yet carefully-calibrated atrocities inflicted seemingly at random, … the ‘war banter’ between Maur and his fellow officers, full of opaque metaphors, occupational in-jokes, and shorthand references to past sorties; the day-to-day focus of those who can’t know, when they arise in the morning, if they will still be more-or-less safe that evening. There’s a strong sense of invasion as marketing, of harassment as advertising: Garrison’s boy soldiers humiliate, assault, kill those who cannot fight back, in part because they can, in part because it’s what’s expected of them. Anything less would indicate a failure, on their part, to meet military KPIs. This focus obviously makes for strange bedfellows with the book’s other primary concern of love and abandonment; and yet it’s this juxtaposition, more than anything else, which makes the story work.’
‘Everyone should therefore seek out the latest issue (42) of the Griffith Review, Once Upon A Time In Oz….
This latest issue of the Griffith Review confirms its position as Australia’s most stimulating literary journal.’
A link to the first paras of the review…
‘This is a detail-rich story, and Hosking’s clear, lilting voice, with its slight Australian accent, is a true pleasure.’ – Audiofile
This story is about many things—societal stratification, political corruption, deception, gene manipulation and selfishness to name a few—but at the heart of the story is everyone’s longing to be loved and cared for – Peter McCarthy
From the review: “…truly exciting…a thoroughly convincing, immaculately researched account of a society in which those who can afford it can acquire wings…. There are breathtaking accounts of the skills and dangers of flying, using intimate knowledge of how the air behaves as a medium–updrafts, thermals, clouds, storms…
Best of all, though, is the gripping story….
This wonderful new author unerringly explores the social consequences, and the strains between fliers and non-fliers.” Crisetta MacLeod
The descriptions of flight are written in language so assured and masterly that it’s easy to suspend disbelief and be taken on the journey into the clouds with the flyers…
…compelling in every way, When We Have Wings is an outstanding debut. Five stars RG (Recommended for Reading Groups) – Maryanne Hyde
An extract from the review: “The descriptions of flight are written in language so assured and masterly that it’s easy to suspend disbelief and be taken on the journey into the clouds with the flyers, experiencing terror and exhilaration with equal force. But it is also a story with a very human and grounded element at its core…. The journey of parenthood…can be as terrifying and exhilarating as flight.
Part fantasy, part crime novel and compelling in every way, When We Have Wings is an outstanding debut.”
Five stars RG (Recommended for Reading Groups) – Maryanne Hyde
You can read the full review in the September 2011 issue of Good Reading Magazine.
…a brilliant and original story that is perfectly realised.
There are a lot of different threads and all of them are managed well and given enough space to be explored properly….
One of the things I thought was particularly well achieved was the description of the science of creating fliers. I think writers need to go one of two ways when it comes to the science part of the fiction – either explain it fully and comprehensively or leave it totally alone. The reader is given the information through Zeke’s visit to the doctor in charge of his son’s impending surgery, and it is explained in detail. For me, it totally worked and seemed completely realistic and not at all impossible.
But the very best part of the book is the description of flight. I really can’t stress enough how real it feels, I could see everything Peri sees, feel everything she feels, I was so up with Peri soaring through the air. And I learned a lot – I had no idea air is so complicated! It is really worth picking up a copy for this reading experience alone.
“Corbett’s prose has the clarity, luminosity and beauty of a well-cut diamond, especially when she describes dreamlike aerial visions. When We Have Wings is a confident and challenging debut; this flight of fancy deserves to soar. “- Thuy On