Well, I’ve completed the first stop on my map of Aussie YA!
And, my stars, what an incredible time I had at my first destination.
DIanne Touchell’s A Small Madness had me utterly riveted from start to finish.
This is from the Allen and Unwin website:
Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.
It’s a great blurb, but the book is so much more wonderful. It’s an utterly harrowing, compelling, dark, bleak, painful, gut-wrenching little beauty of a novel; so searingly real and raw in places that it had me in tears, gripping the pages, white-knuckled, unsure if I could go on.
It broke me a bit, I have to say. I haven’t been broken like this by a book since Friday Brown.
Touchell’s talent is immense, and kudos must also go to her editors at Allen and Unwin for being brave enough to publish it.
If this book doesn’t win all of the awards this year, I’ll be very surprised and disappointed.
Next stop? Beautiful Darwin, for a series I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I’m going to finally delve into the world of Pandora Jones, by the glorious Barry Jonsberg. See you on the other side!