From Annette Barlow, the publisher that brought Australian readers The Shifting Fog, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and Autumn Laing, comes a novel of simplicity and great beauty, telling the stories of the people of Currawalli Street, from the pre-war innocence of 1913 to the painful and grim consequences of the Vietnam War.
In 1914, Thomas, the young rector, questions his faith and falls in love, while his sister Janet, a dutiful spinster, hides a surprising secret life; and their neighbour Rose, is burdened with visions of a coming hell.
In 1972, Jim, a soldier fresh from Vietnam, returns home to Currawalli Street to find that death has a way of seeping in everywhere; Patrick, looked after by his elderly wife Mary, can’t relinquish his former identity; and always there is the boy up in the tree, watching them all, and keeping note.
In only three short generations, working horses and wagons are lost to cars, wood-fired ovens are replaced with electric stoves, and the lessons learned at such cost in the Great War seem forgotten. But through these huge external changes, the essential human things remain.
Author Christopher Morgan, a musician who turned to fiction after a brain tumour changed his life and fired his imagination, says ‘there is a deep story behind every name that we read on those WWI remembrance plinths and those tiny names carved into the stone don’t even begin to tell their stories.’
‘That was part of my inspiration for the book. I wanted to create a new street in 1913 and watch as its residents settled in to their environment while the world prepared for the war to end all wars. Then I wanted to imagine what that same street would be like in 1972. How would the new generations connect?’
Deep, rich and satisfying, Currawalli Street successfully links families and neighbours, their loves and friends, in a powerful and moving dance through time. Like the bestselling Jasper Jones, Currawalli Street is generating plenty of early buzz.