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 Saari's 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.
'A beautiful, breathtaking, salty book about finding home on the far reaches of the continental shelf.' - Marele Day, author of bestselling 'Lambs of God'
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.
Dimensions: H 23.4cm x W 15.3cm
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: 1 Feb 2022
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of Pages: 312