Riptides (previously titled Everything You Want) was a Finalist for the American PEN/Bellwether Prize, 2014.
It received High Commendation (under the title Dreams, since I’m bad at picking titles) in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, 2013.
And it gained me entry to the Banff Centre to work on the manuscript with mentor Alissa York, 2012.
It is published by Penguin Random House in 2020. That’s how long a book can take to come to life:)
December 1974. Abby Campbell and her brother Charlie are driving to their father’s farm on a dark country road when they swerve into the path of another car, forcing it into a tree. The pregnant driver is killed instantly.
Abby and Charlie make a fateful decision. They flee, hoping heavy rain will erase the fact they were there. They both have too much to lose.
The siblings decide to keep their crime hidden from their family and closest friends. But the truth is more complicated than they realise. The driver had secrets of her own. And the police have a curious connection with her...
Set in Queensland in a time of tremendous social upheaval, Riptides explores the push-pull of family, dreams, and other people’s expectations. It asks: what is it that you really want from life, and what is it you deserve?
“Riptides is an absolute tour de force, a tempest of a novel that examines the fragility and strength of family, the impacts of our decisions, truth and lies, loyalty and betrayal, set against the backdrop of the pyrotechnic mid-1970s in Queensland…floods, cyclones, Test cricket, Fleetwood Mac, the advent of colour television, the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub massacre, beers on the veranda at Brisbane’s Regatta Hotel, crooked cops, hippie communes, and a relentless sub-tropical humidity that threatens to combust each page of this thrilling book at any given moment. Beating beneath it all is that universal question – what does it mean to be human? I found Riptides simply unputdownable.” MATTHEW CONDON, Night Dragon, Jacks and Jokers (among others)
Penguin Random House (Australia & NZ, 2020)
Pre-order a copy of Riptides here.
Riptides on Spotify
Riptides is set in Australia in 1974 and 1975. These were the years of early disco, pop, funk, reggae, glam rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. Punk and hip-hop were on the horizon. Film scores were elevated to art form. The two narrators of Riptides are in their mid-twenties when the story opens. This is the music they listen to and love.
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Riptides will be published by Penguin Random House in February 2020.