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

      Synopsis

      The international bestselling author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton returns with a glorious novel destined to become another Australian classic. Darwin, 1942, and as Japanese bombs rain down, motherless Molly Hook, the gravedigger's daughter, is looking to the skies and running for her life. Inside a duffel bag she carries a stone heart, alongside a map to lead her to Longcoat Bob, the deep-country sorcerer who she believes 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. The treasure lies before them, but close behind them trails the dark. And above them, always, are the shimmering skies. A story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves, All Our Shimmering Skies is an odyssey of true love and grave danger, of darkness and light, of bones and blue skies. It is a love letter to Australia and an ode to the art of looking up – a buoyant, beautiful and magical novel, abrim with warmth, wit and wonder.
      Trent Dalton
      About the author

      Trent Dalton

      Trent Dalton is a staff writer for the Weekend Australian Magazine and a former assistant editor of The Courier Mail. He's 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. His debut novel, Boy Swallows Universe, published by HarperCollins in 2018, is a much-loved national bestseller and critically acclaimed, winning the 2019 Indie Book of the Year Award, the MUD Literary Prize, the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and the People's Choice Award at the 2019 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. In addition, at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards, the book won a record four ABIA Awards, including the prestigious Book of the Year Award. Boy Swallows Universe has been published across thirty-four English language and translation territories.

      Books by Trent Dalton

      COMMENTS

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published.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