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Living alone in the Blue Mountains, baby-boomer Kate Ward is estranged from her adult son. Where did it all go wrong?
She decides to return to Salt Pan Creek, the place of her childhood in post-war Sydney suburbia. It's here that she must come to terms with a history that's far greater than her own personal past.
While All the Lives We've Lived takes us back to relive the fifties, sixties and seventies, it's Kate's willingness to confront the truth of her teenage relationship with Gary, an indigenous boy, that reflects Australia's need to face its collective colonial past.
Blending fictional and historical characters and events, this deeply moving novel of interconnected stories is ultimately about storytelling itself: about our need to tell them; about the ones we remember; the ones we value; and the ones we distort because the truth may be too hard to bear.
'This is an exceptional novel - a work of the imagination edged with compelling reality. The lives go on in the rhythms of the prose and vibrate in the memory. The story is a brave one, and this is a book I will come back to again.' - Robert Adamson, poet, publisher and inaugural CAL Chair of Poetry at University of Technology, Sydney
'Each story is a jewel set perfectly into the whole where the interior worlds of the characters are rendered in engaging and powerful detail.' - Jo Gardiner, author of The Concerto Inn