Fans of Winton’s powerful and lyrical prose will not be disappointed by his new title, The Shepherd’s Hut. Jaxie is a teenage outcast. He has suffered frequent physical abuse from his alcoholic father. His circumstances change drastically and he decides to make the 300km journey across the Australian Outback to his beloved cousin, Lee, the only person left in the world who understands him. Taking his rifle, and some basic provisions, he embarks on this walkabout to find her. Along his journey he meets an exiled priest, living in a shepherd’s hut, with whom he forms a wary friendship.It is written in first person, enabling the reader a direct access to Jaxie’s thoughts. His voice is angry, and his use of Aussie slang had me looking up the odd word to be sure of the meaning. But it’s part of the development of an authentic, complex character. His rough language also becomes an interesting extension of the harsh landscape he travels through, described vividly by Winton’s skilful writing. A gritty, sensory and compelling read.