AUSTRALIA + NEW ZEALAND
WINNER OF THE INDIE BOOK AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTION 2020
Australian Independent Bookers
Published: May 28 2019
I can split myself in two . . . something I have to do because of Joy and Matilde. They are my grandmothers and I love them both and they totally love me but they can’t stand each other.
Eleven-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn’t be more different. Matilde works all hours and instils discipline, duty and restraint. She insists that Allegra focus on her studies to become a doctor. Meanwhile free-spirited Joy is full of colour, possibility and emotion, storing all her tears in little glass bottles. She is riding the second wave of the women’s movement in the company of her penny tortoise, Simone de Beauvoir, encouraging Ally to explore broad horizons and live her ‘true essence’. Rick lives in a flat out the back and finds distraction in gambling and solace in surfing. He’s trying to be a good parent to Al Pal, while grieving the woman linking them all but whose absence tears them apart.
Allegra is left to orbit these three adult worlds wishing they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more. Until one day the unspoken tragedy that’s created this division explodes within the person they all cherish most.
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USA + CANADA
Young Adult Fiction honoured by the American Library Association Feminist Task Force 2021 for Quality Literature
Published: April 2020
Allegra Elsom is caught in the middle. She’s suspended between childhood and adulthood, torn apart by the decade-old tragedy that split her family in three, and doing her best to stay true to her Catholic upbringing in the face of unexpected blows—a friend’s pregnancy, an abusive relationship, the rising demand for change among women in her community. . . . She struggles to make peace in her family and navigate the social gauntlet at school while asking bigger questions about her place in the world: What does it mean to “get liberated”? What does it mean to do the right thing, when everyone around her defines it differently?
As second-wave feminism reshapes her Sydney suburb, Allegra makes her own path—discovering firsthand the incredible ways that women can support each other, and finding strength within herself to stand up to the people she loves.
Readers will not soon forget Suzanne Daniel’s poignant debut, or the spirit of sisterhood that sings out from its pages.