'"It came one morning with the milk, and it seemed - at first - almost as innocent..."
'When Roberta "Bertie" Lightfoot is struck down with polio, her world collapses. But Mama doesn't tolerate self-pity, and Bertie is nobody if not her mother's daughter - until she sets her heart on becoming an artist. Through drawing, the gifted and perceptive Bertie gives form and voice to the reality of the people and the world around her. While her father is happy enough to indulge Bertie's driving passion, her mother will not let art get in the way of the future she wishes for her only daughter.
'In 1955 the family moves to post-colonial Port Moresby, a sometimes violent frontier town, where Bertie, determined to be the master of her own life canvas, rebels against her mother's strict control. In this tropical landscape, Bertie thrives amid the lush pallette of colours and abundance, secretly learning the techniques of drawing and painting under the tutelage of her mother's arch rival.
'But Roberta is not the only one deceiving her family. As secrets come to light, the domestic varnish starts to crack, and jealousy and passion threaten to forever mar the relationship between mother and daughter.
'Tender and witty, The Beloved is a moving debut novel which paints a vivid portrait of both the beauty and the burden of unconditional love.' (From the publisher's website.)
'RPM is a coming-of-age novel set in the early 1980s in a Queensland country town. For a group of young people on the cusp of adulthood, music is their bond and their escape. Narrated by Neil, who is working in the local court house, the novel follows his tentative early forays with girls, his attempts at musical greatness with his band and his dreams of leaving the "peanut town" behind. Along with a lively cast of characters such as JD the DJ, Stephen the Mod, Peaches, Jools One and Jools Two, Neil is drawn to returning London-based musician Ray Peter Manning and his record store, RPM. This is a fictional portrait about small-town life, its challenges and youth on the edge of adulthood.'
Source: Queensland Premier's Literary Awards website, http://www.premiers.qld.gov.au/
'When Kelvin returns to his childhood home on the southern coast of New South Wales, he discovers the town is a haven for people like him who are on the run from their pasts. He meets Jessica, a lawyer who has escaped the city, and Carl, an enigmatic American farmer. Both are pursuing new lives and causes inspired by the extraordinary landscape around them. But Kelvin begins to see the darker side of the environmental debate when he becomes drawn into a community of anti-logging activists. As his relationship with Jessica intensifies and implodes, it provokes Kelvin to make a decision with devastating consequences for all of them. No-one is quite who they seem as, deep in these southern forests, the story builds to a dramatic climax.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Twenty years after the first boy vanished along the Brisbane River, psychologist Madeleine Jeffries is called home to help untangle a chain of similar disappearances. To do so she must confront secrets and guilt from her own past.
'The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies is an exploration of grief, responsibility and repercussions, and the way childhood actions can echo throughout our lives.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
Kuma Kelage, daughter of a Chimbu chieftain from a quiet mountain village in the New Guinea Highlands, defied tradition and married a white Australian. With her daughter Ba, she travelled beyond the boundaries of her homeland, journeying through two cultures. Her story is told by her granddaughter, Deborah Carlyon.