‘We had rules despite our unruly appearance: never praise, never thank and never apologise. In this family, you don’t show weakness or you’ll be called a girl. And no one wants that.
Not even me.’
Every so often, the tide will wash up that peerless shell – no, not the perfectly formed ones you can buy at any old store – but the ones with holes, and little cracks and a build up of residues that show you character, depth and a past.
That was what it was like finding Dust by Christine Bongers.
Now, I would be the first to admit that like a lot of YA readers these days, I enjoy a bit of flash, some glitz and usually a touch of magic or the paranormal, so when I first saw Dust, I was a bit skeptical about how it would hold up against the usual glamour and excitement of my novels.
And that just goes to show how wrong I was.
Dust really surprised me. It was a story full of innocence and charm – a story of regret, ignorance, making choices, and finding closure. This hidden gem shows you a past that really tugs at your heart. It drives you into the very midst of the outback – creating a setting and a tale, that draws you in and makes you a part of the experience.
Bongers story, forms around the very nature of a childhood experience – both honest and relatable. Her character Cecilia displays varying degrees of innocence, defiance, and understanding, making her appear both charming and genuine throughout the story. It is a story that brings you home – reminds you of family, of the past, and the people who move in and out of your life.
This is no glitz and glamour story. There are no wizards, werewolves or long lost fey. There is no everlasting romance or a trek to the highest mountains to find a mystical stone. This story is about a young girl growing up, and recognising and accepting the mistakes made by herself and by others, and making a choice to change and move forward – to let things go.
Dust is all Aussie heart and the events that shape a person.
‘… It is the extremes that create the most marvelous hearts. In rocks and in life.’
Available now: Random House RRP$17.95