There was a house on a hill in the city and it was full of us, our family, but then it began to empty. We fell out. We made a mess. We draped ourselves in blame and disappointment and lurched around, bumping into each other. Some of us wailed and shouted; some of us barely made a sound. None of us was listening, or paying attention. And in the middle of it all you, very quietly, were gone.
Helen and John are too preoccupied with making a mess of their marriage to notice the quiet ways in which their daughters are suffering. Junie grows up brittle and defensive, Anna difficult and rebellious.
When fifteen-year-old Anna fails to come home one night, her mother’s not too worried; Anna’s taken off before but always returned. Helen waits three days to report her disappearance.
But this time Anna doesn’t come back …
A spellbinding novel in the tradition of Helen Garner, Charlotte Wood and Georgia Blain, Islands is a riveting and brilliant portrait of a family in crisis by the breathtakingly talented author of House of Sticks and Hope Farm.
‘Peggy Frew is an amazing writer…Elegant, tender and very wise.’ Chris Womersley, author of Bereft on Hope Farm
‘Peggy Frew’s novel, Hope Farm, tells an original tale, drawing into the body of Australian literary fiction, a world between the cracks. Peggy’s voice is contemporary, her observations sharp and sensitive. Hope Farm describes the cycle of loss and damage when there are no boundaries to protect us.’ Sofie Laguna, author of The Eye of the Sheep, 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award winner
‘Brilliant. Peggy Frew is a superb writer, and this is a remarkably confident debut.’ Clare Bowditch on House of Sticks