By: Cameron Nunn
Genre: YFT - Historical fiction
Published by: Walker Books Australia
Published: 2 Jun 2021
ISBN: 9781760653088


What if memories never die? An evocative Australian YA novel about family, place, and how history has a way of weaving itself into our present.

What if memories never die?

When fifteen-year-old Will is sent away to stay with his grandparents in rural New South Wales, he finds the isolated farm strangely familiar; except the memories he's channelling are not his own. But whose are they? And why does his grandfather share the same haunting link?

As two stories unfold, nearly 200 years apart, two boys exiled to what feels like the end of the earth struggle to find their identities and voices in the face of abandonment and tragedy.

A page-turning YA novel that explores the darker moments of our convict past and how they resonate today.

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Told in two intersecting stories - the first being a teenage convict sent to Australia, circa 1830, to serve seven years for theft. We live through his struggles and dreams for the future, and the hardships and horror that surround him far from home.

The second story is set now, when fifteen-year-old Will, along with his younger sister Rosie, are sent to remote Australia after his Mum died and his Dad couldn’t cope. Here Will finds a loving Gran and an ailing Grandfather, who is hard on Will and has trouble with images of the past.

His grandfather is considered mad by many, including Will. But then Will starts to experience the same strange connection to a troubled boy who lived here many years ago...

The story really draws you in, with the desolate setting and hopeless situation they each find themselves in, albeit 200 years apart, but they never stop trying to find their own identities and place in the world.

With themes of convict transportation and the darker aspects of Australia’s past, including the persecution of First Nations people, the remoteness of outback Australia, as well as family troubles. growing up, hope and courage, this is a wonderful, truly Australian story.

Perfectly suited to a 12 - 15 year old reader, it will undoubtfully be used as a class novel in Year 9 and 10 as well.

Reviewed by Rob