The Serpent's Skin
Pantera Press - March 2021

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‘A powerful and insightful novel that illuminates how secrets stay buried within families, and the bombs, sheer strength and bravery required to stand up to male power.’


Sarah Macdonald  HOLY COW / SO ... YOU'RE HAVING A TEENAGER/ Broadcaster


A few years ago my brother noticed an old guy waiting hours for him to finish up auctioneering at the stock yards where he worked. 


This guy had worked at our place in the nineteen-sixties and had taken a slide of our house.


My brother turned the slide into a photo, blew it up, framed it and hung it on his wall. He invited the rest of us around. 


We gathered in great excitement. But the chattering and banter slid into silence. It was my brother who finally said it: ‘How could the old man let us live in that?’


That was the moment the serpent stirred.


I needed to write about that world.


The tribal pulling together in the epic struggle to survive; the unquestioned power of men and the Church and the destruction they made possible; the sheer joy of the things that shone light, like the mucking around and the kidding, as well as the incredible sisterhood.

I wanted to write about this complex world in which these unseen, unsung and profound acts of love and heroism made so much difference.


I wanted to write about the everyday accommodations women had to make against the strictures of patriarchy and what it took to bring it down so that my life could be different.


‘With The Serpents Skin, Erina Reddan has lovingly crafted a fast-paced and timely novel tracing the consequences of a family suffocated by mystery, unquestioned power and grief. Erina pays tribute to women who refuse to bow to the secrets of the past by gifting us JJ, a tenacious spirit who not only seeks the truth no matter the cost, but uncompromisingly searches for the depth and bravery of her mother’s love, of women and their truth, over any ties to patriarchal expectation. This is powerful storytelling.’ Sarah Schmidt - SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE 


The Serpent’s Skin is a deeply satisfying book of quiet power and dignity. I loved the sparse poetry of the writing, and the punchiness and strength of this novel’s voice.’

Christos Tsiolkas THE SLAP, DAMASCUS

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‘The Serpent's Skin is a powerful, gripping read, with a cast of complex, satisfyingly original characters. Erina Reddan has written a rich, memorable Australian novel.’

Graeme Simsion - THE ROSIE PROJECT