The Riptides (Penguin Random House, 2020)

The Riptides (titled Everything You Want was a Finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, and received High Commendation in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (as Dreams, since I’m clearly very bad at titles). It also gained me entry to the Banff Centre for Creativity’s Wired Writing Studio, to work on the manuscript with a mentor.

In 1974, in country Queensland, Charlie Campbell forces a car off an unlit and rarely travelled dirt road into a tree, killing the pregnant driver. The crash wakes Charlie’s sister, Abby, who’d been sleeping in the passenger seat next to him. They were heading to their father’s farm.

A dead woman has no place in either of their plans. They drive away, leaving her on the ground as heavy rain falls. They cannot help her, there are no witnesses, and there is too much at stake.

When they arrive at the farm, the siblings learn that the dead woman, Skye, was their father’s fiance.

They resolve to tell no one what they’ve done — to admit to this crime will cost them their father and their future. Charlie leans on his older sister to lead them out of trouble, to act as the protector she’s had to be since their mother died. But their secret grows more complicated by the day.

Abby, however, is not one to give up. She keeps the single piece of evidence hidden, and decides to redeem herself. She determines to raise Skye’s son as her own, study, and make a difference. She is convinced that she and Charlie can get back on track. But along the way, they need to reconsider exactly what it is they want.