“Collins deftly navigates Cormac McCarthy territory right out of the gate with her searing novel of real-life horse thief Jessie Hickman. Set mainly in the brutal Australian outback, The Untold follows Hickman as she tries to escape her convict life and brutal husband while a fellow thief and the sheriff search for her. Collins's writing is gorgeous and unflinching, conjuring magic from history, dust, and dirt.”
— Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH
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.
A female Cormac McCarthy*
“This extraordinary novel—propelled by the dark, rich talents of a truly brilliant writer—dazzles, staggers and amazes.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
"[A] page-turner... Jessie, the heroine of this tale set in 1920s Australia, sets her own compass. A horse thief and sometime circus performer, she's being pursued through the hills by her Aboriginal lover and a police sergeant. The chase will leave you breathless." —Good Housekeeping
"Collins's gripping debut novel is based on a legendary wild woman . . . A fast-paced, heart-wrenching story that never loses speed, this extraordinary first novel is not to be missed.” —Library Journal (starred review)
"The dead have tales to tell, if only we could hear them... Collins richly evokes a heartbreaking emotional terrain, setting it against the sparse, brutal landscape of the Australian Outback." —Kirkus Reviews
“A captivating, epic novel that never loses its heart to scope, The Untold is a surreal saga set in a rugged, unforgiving landscape. Courtney Collins paints a devastating portrait of long-shot love.” —Patrick DeWitt, author of the #1 International bestseller, The Sisters Brothers (short-listed for The Man Booker Prize)