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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Courtney Collins Narrator: Courtney Collins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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With shades of Water for Elephants and True Grit, The Untold is a stunning debut novel set in the Australian outback about a female horse thief, her bid for freedom, and the two men trying to capture her.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “[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

  • “A fictionalized account of real-life Jessie Hickman, a female bushranger and outlaw in 1920s Australia whose story as presented here ranges from the circus life to horse-stealing to imprisonment to forced marriage to fiery escape and endless pursuit, all told in extraordinary, toughly lyrical language. A female Cormac McCarthy? Get it.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Broadly based on the life of Australian ‘wild woman’ Jessie Hickman, Collins’s debut novel ranges widely over the Australian frontier—and into one woman’s dark and damaged heart…Collins’s poetic language and salty dialogue tell the story of a woman whose life is inextricable from the bleak landscape she not only traverses but also inhabits.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This moving debut novel was inspired by the life of Australian Elizabeth Jessie Hickman, a runaway convict born in 1820…This intense read, with dark undertones of death and foreboding, contains breathtaking descriptions of the Australian bush and a lyrical homage to Jessie’s desperate quest for freedom.”


  • “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

  • Selected for the June 2014 Indie Next List
  • A 2014 Library Journal Editor’s Pick
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
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About the Author

Courtney Collins lives on the Goulburn River in regional Victoria, Australia. The Untold is her first novel, and she is currently at work on her second novel.