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Boy, Lost

by Kristina Olsson

In 1950 in far north Queensland, a pregnant teenager boards a train with her first son, only to have him wrenched away by her violent husband. Yvonne was young and frightened, trying to escape a brutal marriage. Haunted by her loss, Yvonne would always dream of the day she would see her son again.

Kristina Olsson, the eldest child of Yvonne’s subsequent marriage, grew up unaware of the reasons behind her mother’s sorrow, though Peter’s absence resounded through the family. It was only much later that Olsson gathered enough of the missing pieces to be able to re-imagine her mother’s early life. Yvonne dreamt of her son by day and by night, while Peter grew up a thousand miles and a heartbreaking lifetime away: motherless, afflicted by polio and a violent father, and in and out of state care.

Boy, Lost is a deeply affecting and moving story of how Yvonne and Peter’s lives proceeded from the shattering moment of their separation, the grief, shame and longing that stalked them, what they lost and what they salvaged. It is a powerful book, beautifully written and very uplifting in it’s story of the strength of the human spirit.



About Kristina Olsson

Kristina was born in 1956 and raised in Brisbane of Swedish and Australian heritage. She studied journalism at the University of Queensland and went on to write for The Australian, The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph and Griffith Review. She has also worked as an advisor to government and as a teacher of creative writing and journalism at tertiary and community level. She supervises and mentors several post-graduate writing students and also works as a manuscript assessor and editor. University of Queensland Press published her first novel, In One Skin, in 2001. This was  followed by Kilroy Was Here  in 2005 and The China Garden in 2009. Boy, Lost, a family memoir, was published by UQP in March 2013. Kristina has two adult children, as well as three grandchildren. She lives in Brisbane.

Other books by Kristina Olsson


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