The Serpent’s Skin

Erina Reddan

The Serpent’s Skin

Erina Reddan

A deeply satisfying book of quiet power and dignity.’ – Christos Tsiolkas

‘Wonderful. Achingly poignant and real, with a page-turning story and characters to break your heart.’ – Toni Jordan, Fragments

An extraordinary novel about overcoming male power, the strength of sibling bonds and the secrets that can haunt a family. Most of all, The Serpent’s Skin is about the many ways we prove our love.

It’s a cold and wintery night in 1968 and ten-year-old JJ’s mother isn’t home. The cows are milked, the pigs fed, and her dad won’t answer any questions.

Sarah is the lifeblood of their family, and her absence throws everyone off course: Tessa takes charge, Tim gets in trouble, Philly retreats, and JJ blames herself. Their father works hard to keep up appearances, but something’s not right. It’s always been JJ’s job to cause trouble, and when she can’t leave the clues alone, her sleuthing wreaks havoc in their tight-knit community, and she swears off troublemaking for good.

Fourteen years on, JJ has a new life, a loving partner and a good job. But she puts it all in jeopardy when she stumbles across a chance to solve the dark mystery of her childhood. While pretending to have made peace with it, she organises a final farewell for her mother so they can all put the past behind them. Will the explosive truth finally set them free?

 Compulsive, gripping and full of heart, The Serpent’s Skin ushers in Erina Reddan as a brilliant new voice in Australian fiction. 

‘A fast-paced and timely novel tracing a family suffocated by mystery, unquestioned power and grief.’ – Sarah Schmidt

The Serpent’s Skin is a powerful, gripping read, with a cast of complex, satisfyingly original characters. Erina Reddan has written a rich, memorable Australian novel.’ – Graeme Simsion

‘A powerful and insightful novel that illuminates how secrets stay buried within families and the bombs and the sheer strength and bravery required to stand up to male power.’ – Sarah Macdonald




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Erina Reddan

Erina Reddan

Erina Reddan

Erina Reddan is an author and public speaker.

Erina has a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing (University of Technology Sydney) and is currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing (La Trobe University). She has been awarded the prestigious Walkley Award for her work as an ABC foreign correspondent.

Erina has lectured in international politics at The University of Melbourne, tutored in creative writing at La Trobe University and taught at Writers Victoria.

Erina’s latest novel The Serpent’s Skin will be published in 2021.


Photo credit: Jacqui Henshaw

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