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By Robyn Davidson
What a life! Robyn Davidson came to prominence in 1980 with the book Tracks, her classic account of travelling solo across the Australian desert with the assistance of her famous camels. In the long-awaited memoir, Unfinished Woman, Davidson finds herself finally confronting the death of her mother at the age of 13, something that in a lifetime of writing she had never quite been able to find the words for.
Davidson’s account of her 1950s childhood in Queensland is evocative and beautifully rendered, with her wonder of the natural world ever-present. Yet family life teeters between love and connection and confusing emotional absences, these fissures coming to a head with her mother’s suicide. What follows is a kind of soul restlessness, and Davidson’s adulthood is characterised by an adventurous and unconventional energy, always walking her own path and enduring incredible challenges with her eyes wide open.As the reader, sometimes you wince at her choices and sometimes you shake your head in admiration at the pure guts of the woman.
Apart from being a magnificent adventurer Robyn Davidson is a beautiful writer, an evocative combination that makes for a deeply engaging and thought-provoking memoir.
SO LATE IN THE DAY
By Claire Keegan
With both brevity and honesty, Claire Keegan once again explores the intricacies of human relationships with her short story So Late in the Day. Much like her previous book Small Things Like These, Keegan offers a character meditating on the state of his personal life and the choices that he should make. Yet with half the page numbers of her previous book, Keegan delivers an unexpected turn in her storytelling, subtly transforming a broader story of regret into a specific interrogation of casual misogyny.
What feels like a literary magic trick, So Late in the Day digs to the heart of how misogyny can simmer beneath the surface of a relationship, and the consequences of making the wrong choices. With prose sharp and direct, it will linger in the mind longer than one might expect.
THE ISABELLE STORIES 2: HURRY UP HARRY!
By Jane Godwin
The Isabelle Stories is a lovely and sweet chapter book series for younger readers by the celebrated Australian author, Jane Godwin. Book 2 in the series, Hurry Up Harry, finds our thoughtful heroine, Isabelle, dealing with a new raft of school and friend issues. Isabelle and her best friends, Harry B and Izzy, are in grade two and find themselves with a new teacher who is a little bit formidable, have a school disco with a sleep over, go to forest school and learn to build bridges and forts, and even bring in babies for show and tell to the whole class! But then Harry B announces he is moving away and Isabelle is devastated.
With short chapters and descriptive illustrations by the talented Robin Coucher, The Isabelle Stories have quickly become a favourite in the ages 6 and up crowd. Each book contains four separate stories and deals with topics children at school regularly deal with, using simple and effective language that children can relate to. Isabelle is an Every-Child, working through many aspects of children’s social-emotional development that kids will really relate to. Best of all, they are also very fun! Books 1 and 2 are in store now at the Younger Sun.
WE DIDN’T THINK IT THROUGH
By Gary Lonesborough
We Didn’t Think It Through is the second Young Adult novel by Yuin author Gary Lonesborough, released shortly after the success of his excellent debut novel, The Boy From The Mish. This heartfelt and fast-paced offering brings us the story of 16-year-old Jamie, who makes a bad decision with a bunch of his friends and ends up in juvenile detention. Jamie is a good kid who has faced obstacles, living with his aunt and uncle after being removed from his parents. When he and his mates decide to egg the car of the white kid that bullies them, it quickly escalates into taking the car for a joyride.
After Jamie ends up in youth detention he must work to forgive himself and realise what kind of life he wants to live. This is a tough but gorgeous book, full of hope and optimism, even after depicting the cruel systems that are set up by and for the white man, and how one mistake is life changing for a Blak person. This is a wonderful discussion book, perfect for ages 12+ and will be a huge hit in high schools and with teachers and librarians across the country, and will especially appeal to teenage boys with its succinct and crisp wording.