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Home Books Fiction The Islands

The Islands

$32.99

By Emily Brugman

A moving and original debut novel. Observant, warm and extraordinary.

In the mid-1950s, a small group of Finnish migrants set up camp on Little Rat, a tiny island in an archipelago off the coast of Western Australia. The crayfishing industry is in its infancy, and the islands, haunted though they are by past shipwrecks, possess an indefinable allure.

Drawn here by tragedy, Onni Saari is soon hooked by the stark beauty of the landscape and the slivers of jutting coral onto which the crayfishers build their precarious huts. Could these reefs, teeming with the elusive and lucrative cray, hold the key to a good life?

The Islands is the sweeping story of the Saari family: Onni, an industrious and ambitious young man, grappling with the loss of a loved one; his wife Alva, quiet but stoic, seeking a sense of belonging between the ramshackle camps of the islands and the dusty suburban lots of the mainland; and their pensive daughter Hilda, who dreams of becoming the skipper of her own boat. As the Saaris try to build their future in Australia, their lives entwine with those of the fishing families of Little Rat, in myriad and unexpected ways.

A stunning, insightful story of a search for home.

ISBN: 9781760878580
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: 01 Feb 2022
Page Extent: 312
Format: C-Format PB
Package type: PAPERBACK

 

About the author:

Emily Brugman grew up in Broulee, on the far south coast of NSW, on the lands of the Yuin people. Her writing has previously appeared in literary journals, magazines and anthologies, including Tracks, the UTS Writers' Anthology and Lines to the Horizon: Australian surf writing. She currently lives in Mullumbimby, on Bundjalung country, and works at Byron Writers Festival. The Islands, her first novel, is inspired by her family's experiences living and working on the Abrolhos Islands between 1959-1972.