The Blooding

Viking Kestrel, 1987

 The greenies came to town today. They reckon they’re going to stop the logging. It’s real weird, but part of me wants them to win. I mean, I want the forest to live. But if the logging stops, my home town will die. Dad will lose his job, and I’ll never get one. What am I going to do? (Yeah — whose side are you on, Col?)

Seventeen-year-old Colum leads a double life. In public he hangs out with the town gang, but in private he escapes to his secret place in the forest. When conservationists come to his area, Col is torn between opposing forces, and soon ends up at the centre of a dramatic confrontation.

This tough novel for mature young adults reveals something of the struggle we all face when life challenges us to discover who we are.

A recommended text for the VCE for many years, The Blooding is as relevant today as it was when it was first published.


Selected Reviews

Nadia Wheatley is one of the most interesting Australian writers for young people. When she produces an “issues’ novel, you can be sure the issues will not be cut and dried and done up in a neat artificial package, but will be shot through with the contradictions and paradoxes that beset them in real life. They will be explored with an imaginative vision that borders on the poetic...
This is is a super book. Written very much in the idiom of the macho but reasonably articulate teenager, it doesn’t shy away from the mystical, spiritual and ethical depths of its young hero. The result is a convincing character and a novel that is a moving, thought-provoking and exciting experience.
— Katherine England, The Adelaide Advertiser
Basically a novel about growing up, The Blooding is a book of lost ideals and fallen heroes, yet it also shows that out of all this disillusionment emerges a young adult able to take control of his own life. Skilfully constructed, with a set of easily identifiable characters and a clear and compelling plot.
— Shurlee Swain, Geelong Advertiser
Love-hate, emotion-practicaity, fantasy-reality, union-isolation. The Blooding is an exercise in contrasts and parallels. Colum warned us it would be. “Two bob each way,” as his old man would say.
— Jo Ann Stubbings, The Age