Tom and Clara are two struggling academics in their mid-thirties, who decide to take their first holiday in ten years. On the flight over to Indonesia, Tom experiences a debilitating panic attack, something he hasn’t had in a long time, which he keeps hidden from Clara. At the resort, they meet Madeleine, a charismatic French woman, her Australian partner, Jeremy, and five-year-old son, Ollie, and the two couples strike up an easy friendship. The holiday starts to look up, even to Tom, who is struggling to get out of his own head. But when Clara and Madeleine become trapped in the maze-like grounds of the hotel during ‘the fogging’ — a routine spraying of pesticide — the dynamics suddenly shift between Tom and Clara, and the atmosphere of the holiday darkens.
Told with equal parts compassion and irony, and brimming with observations that charm, illuminate, and devastate, The Fogging dives deep into what it means to be strong when your foundation is built on sand.
Luke Horton’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, and The Australian, and was shortlisted for the Viva La Novella prize. The former editor of The Lifted Brow Review of Books, he currently teaches creative writing at RMIT, and is a member of acclaimed indie-rock band Love of Diagrams. The Fogging is his debut novel, and was highly commended for the Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2019.