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'A glinting, big-hearted miracle of a book' Richard Glover
'A work of shimmering originality and energy, with extraordinary characters and a clever, thrilling plot ... unputdownable' Sydney Morning Herald
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.
'Dalton is an author of 19th-century expansiveness, one with a sense that intelligence, talent for characterisation and sheer narrative brio can still be the whole cloth of the writer's ambition ... it is storytelling manna, fallen straight from the Territorian skies.' The Australian
'As Australian as outback red dirt and as universal as the sky young Molly Hook's journey takes place beneath, All Our Shimmering Skies is an open-hearted wonder, by turns heartbreaking and full of hope, no less than an instant classic' Venero Armanno
'Australia has a new literary hero. Molly Hook – part Cordelia, part Jo March, part Pippi Longstocking – pulls us into a story and a landscape that is mythic, beguiling and almost hallucinatory in its beauty. And instantly recognisable as our own' Kristina Olsson
'This is storytelling at its absolute purest, a truly courageous expression of longing, hope and love … against unimaginable odds' Asher Keddie
'All Our Shimmering Skies is the follow-up to Boy Swallows Universe we could have never imagined, but the one Dalton was destined to gift us. It's a story of heroes and villains, foxes and water buffalo, fighter planes and birds of prey, real magic and real love, epitaphs and aphorisms, lost treasure and lost life. It's a love letter to the nation. It's your favourite childhood adventure story dictated by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and William Shakespeare, with a score by Franz Liszt. It's dead serious. It's completely ridiculous. It's all of these things and more' Booktopia
'The best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade' Sydney Morning Herald
'Astonishing, captivating ... a wild, beautiful, heart-exploding ride' Elizabeth Gilbert
The bestselling novel that has taken Australia, and the world, by storm. Winner of Book of the Year at the 2019 Indie Book Awards, winner of a record four Australian Book Industry Awards in 2019, including the prestigious Book of the Year Award, and winner of the 2019 UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing, NSW Premier's Literary Awards
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.
But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.
A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year.
2019 ABIA Book of the Year Award, Winner
2019 Indie Book Award, Winner
2019 UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Winner
2019 People's Choice Award, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Winner
MUD Literary Prize 2019, Winner
2019 ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, Winner
2019 ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, Winner
2019 ABIA Audiobook of the Year, Winner
2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Longlisted
2019 Colin Roderick Award, shortlist
'Boy Swallows Universe is a wonderful surprise: sharp as a drawer full of knives in terms of subject matter; unrepentantly joyous in its child's-eye view of the world; the best literary debut in a month of Sundays.' The Australian
'Boy Swallows Universe hypnotizes you with wonder, and then hammers you with heartbreak.' Washington Post
'This thrilling novel' New York Times Book Review
'Marvelously plot-rich ... filled with beautifully lyric prose ...At one point Eli wonders if he is good. The answer is "yes," every bit as good as this exceptional novel.' Booklist
'Dalton's splashy, stellar debut makes the typical coming-of-age novel look bland by comparison ... This is an outstanding debut.' Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
'Extraordinary and beautiful storytelling' Guardian
Der Nummer-1-Bestseller aus Australien mit über 250.000 verkauften Exemplaren
Brisbane, 1983: Wie wird man zu einem guten Menschen? Diese Frage treibt den 11-jährigen Eli Bell um. Auf den ersten Blick hat er nicht gerade die besten Vorbilder um sich herum: Die Mutter und der Stiefvater dealen mit Heroin, sein großer Bruder Gus spricht nicht mehr, sein Vater glänzt durch Abwesenheit und sein Babysitter ist ein hartgesottener Exhäftling. Doch zwischen den Drogen und dem Schmutz erfährt Eli zärtliche Liebe, aufrichtige Freundschaft und die Magie seiner Phantasie. Elis Welt gerät erst ins Wanken, als der Cartellboss Tytus Broz in sein Leben tritt und die Familie auseinanderreißt.
Während Eli heranwächst, wird er weiter mit der Frage kämpfen, ob aus einem schlechten Menschen doch noch ein guter werden kann; er wird in das berüchtigte Boggo Road Goal-Gefängnis einbrechen, um seine Mutter an Weihnachten zu besuchen; er wird durch seine Briefe ins Gefängnis einen wichtigen Freund gewinnen und aus Versehen mitten in einer Schießerei zwischen zwei Gangs landen; er wird einen Karriereweg finden, der nichts mit Drogen zu tun hat. Und er wird sich verlieben.
»Der Roman erfüllt dich mit wunderbarem Staunen und bricht dir dann das Herz.«