Take a Sneak Peek at Trent Dalton’s Highly Anticipated Second Novel, All Our Shimmering Skies

Take a Sneak Peek at Trent Dalton’s Highly Anticipated Second Novel, All Our Shimmering Skies

A bull ant crawls across a curse. The bull ant’s head is blood red and it stops and starts and stops and starts and moves on through a chiselled gravestone letter ‘C’ and Molly Hook, aged seven, wonders if the bull ant has ever been able to see the whole of the sky given all those magic gravity angles bull ants walk. And if it has no sky to see then she will make a sky for it. The bull ant follows the curved bottom of a ‘U’ and moves to an ‘R’ and winds through a twisting ‘S’ and exits through an ‘E’.

Molly is the gravedigger girl. She’s heard people in town call her that. Poor little gravedigger girl. Mad little gravedigger girl. She leans on her shovel. It has a wooden handle as long as she is tall, with a wide dirt-stained sheet-steel blade with teeth on its sides for root cutting. Molly has given the shovel a name because she cares for it. She calls the shovel Bert because those side teeth remind her of the decaying and icicle-shaped fangs of Bert Green who runs the Sugar Lane lolly shop on Shepherd Street. Bert the shovel has helped dig twenty-six graves for her so far this year, her first year digging graves with her mother and father and uncle. Bert has killed a black whipsnake for her.

Molly’s mother, Violet, says Bert is Molly’s second best friend. Molly’s mother says her first best friend is the sky. Because the sky is every girl’s best friend. There are things the sky will tell a girl about herself that a friend could never tell her. Molly’s mother says the sky is watching over Molly for a reason. Every lesson she will ever need to learn about herself is waiting up there in that sky, and all she has to do is look up.

Molly’s bare feet are dirt-stained like the shovel face and there are copper-coloured lines of cemetery clay where her elbows and knees bend. Molly, who is right to consider this rambling and rundown and near-dead cemetery her queendom, hops onto a slab of old black stone and kneels down to put a big blue eyeball up close to the crawling bull ant and she wonders if the ant can see the deep dark blues in her eyes and thinks that if the ant can see that kind of blue then maybe it will know what it feels like to see all of the vast blue sky over Darwin.

‘Get off the grave, Molly.’

‘Sorry, Mum.’

Continue reading the extract here…

Reviews

Wild, Magical and Mesmerising: All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton is Another Literary Triumph

Review | Our Review

1 October 2020

Wild, Magical and Mesmerising: All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton is Another Literary Triumph

    Related Articles

    Podcast: Trent Dalton on the Private Conversations we Have With the Sky

    Podcast

    6 October 2020

    Podcast: Trent Dalton on the Private Conversations we Have With the Sky

      Publisher details

      All Our Shimmering Skies
      Author
      Trent Dalton
      Publisher
      HarperCollins
      Genres
      Australian Fiction, Fiction
      Released
      01 September, 2021
      ISBN
      9781460759325

      Synopsis

      The author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton returns with All Our Shimmering Skies - the bestselling, critically acclaimed novel destined to become another Australian classic.

      Darwin, 1942, and as Japanese bombs rain down, motherless Molly Hook, the gravedigger's daughter, turns once again to the sky for guidance. She carries a stone heart inside a duffel bag next to the map that leads to Longcoat Bob, the deep-country sorcerer who put a curse on her family. By her side are the most unlikely travelling companions: Greta, a razor-tongued actress, and Yukio, a fallen Japanese fighter pilot. Run, Molly, run, says the daytime sky. Run to the vine forests. Run to northern Australia's wild and magical monsoon lands. Run to friendship. Run to love. Run. Because the graverobber's coming, Molly, and the night-time sky is coming with him. So run, Molly, run.

      All Our Shimmering Skies is a story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. It is an odyssey of true love and grave danger, of darkness and light, of bones and blue skies; a buoyant, beautiful and magical novel abrim with warmth, wit and wonder; and a love letter to Australia and the art of looking up.
      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.

      Books by Trent Dalton

      COMMENTS

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *