A Unique and Big-Hearted Novel: Read Our Review of Lola in the Mirror by Trent Dalton

A Unique and Big-Hearted Novel: Read Our Review of Lola in the Mirror by Trent Dalton

Trent Dalton, one of Australia’s most popular authors, is back with Lola in the Mirror, his most unique and heart-hugging book yet. It follows the exploits of a 17-year-old girl and her mother who have been on the ‘lam’ (run) for sixteen years, from police and the monster they left in their kitchen with a knife in his throat.

The girl has no name because names are dangerous when you’re on the run. But the girl has a dream. A vision of a life as an artist of international acclaim. A life outside the grip of the Brisbane underworld. A life of love with the boy who’s waiting for her on the bridge that stretches across a flooding, deadly river. A life beyond the bullet that has her name on it.

And now that the storm clouds are rising, there’s only one person who can help make her dreams come true. That person is Lola and she carries all the answers. But to find Lola, the girl with no name must first do one of the hardest things we can ever do. She must look in the mirror. This is an intimate and confronting story and Dalton doesn’t shy away from any of it.

Each chapter begins with a startling line drawing, ostensibly by the artist of the story, accompanied by a description that sets up the tension and the pathos of her tale.

Dalton writes from the heart, and that’s why this book hits so hard. It’s honest writing: nothing fancy in the words yet the way Dalton weaves sentences is absolute magic. His is a distinct voice that rose from a journalist’s eye for detail to capture readers with books like Boy Swallows Universe, All Our Shimmering Skies and Love Stories.

At the centre of this beautiful novel is Dalton’s big heart in words. He writes with whimsy grit, joy, and the punch of a nameless young woman’s struggle. Lola in the Mirror is a crime story, it’s a story about art, and it’s also a story about the housing crisis and the growing number of homeless women fighting for their families. Ultimately, though, this is a love story full of unforgettable characters. This is what fans of Dalton have come to love him for – the joy he finds in telling stories. Lola in the Mirror is a must-read.

Buy a copy of Lola in the Mirror here.

Reviews

Gritty, Magical and Moving: Read an Extract from Lola in the Mirror by Trent Dalton

Review | Extract

11 October 2023

Gritty, Magical and Moving: Read an Extract from Lola in the Mirror by Trent Dalton

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        Publisher details

        Lola in the Mirror
        Author
        Trent Dalton
        Publisher
        HarperCollins
        Genre
        Fiction
        Released
        04 October, 2023
        ISBN
        9781460759837

        Synopsis

        A girl and her mother are on the lam. They've been running for sixteen years, from police and the monster they left in the kitchen with the knife in his throat. They've found themselves a home inside an orange 1987 Toyota HiAce van with four flat tyres parked in a scrapyard by the edge of the Brisbane River – just two of the 100,000 Australians sleeping rough every night.

        The girl has no name because names are dangerous when you're on the run. But the girl has a dream. Visions in black ink and living colour. A vision of a life as a groundbreaking artist of international acclaim. A life outside the grip of the Brisbane underworld drug queen 'Lady' Flora Box. A life of love with the boy in the brown suit who's waiting for her in the middle of the bridge that stretches across a flooding and deadly river. A life far beyond the bullet that has her name on it. And now that the storm clouds are rising, there's only one person who can help make her dreams come true. That person's name is Lola and she carries all the answers. But to find Lola, the girl with no name must first do one of the hardest things we can sometimes ever do. She must look in the mirror.

        A big, moving, blackly funny, violent, heartbreaking and beautiful novel of love, fate, life and death and all the things we see when we look in the mirror. All of the past, all of the present, and all of our possible futures.

        Trent Dalton
        About the author

        Trent Dalton

        Trent Dalton is the author of Boy Swallows Universe (HarperCollins, 2018), a critically acclaimed national bestseller and winner of the 2019 Indie Book of the Year Award, the MUD Literary Prize, and the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and the People's Choice Award at the 2019 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. At the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards, the book won a record four awards, including the prestigious Book of the Year Award. Boy Swallows Universe has been published across thirty-four English language and translation territories. His second novel, All Our Shimmering Skies, was published by HarperCollins in October 2020 and has also become a national bestseller. He's also a two-time winner of a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, a four-time winner of a Kennedy Award for Excellence in NSW Journalism and a four-time winner of the national News Awards Features Journalist of the Year.

        Photo credit: David Kelly

        Books by Trent Dalton

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