A devastating coming-of-age story that charts lost innocence and thwarted dreams, but also survival and the reintegration of a shattered self, based on an incredible true story.
A priest unable to contain his desires; a schoolgirl starved for affection and hoping to escape from a violent, alcoholic father - this is the story of MAGGIE, based on an incredible true story.
Dreaming of breaking free from her troubled family, Maggie becomes entangled instead in a taboo relationship - first at school in the Hunter Valley, then at university in Sydney - with the older Father Nihill. As a result, Maggie's hopes of freedom and success seem thwarted. Yet exile and banishment lead her in unexpected directions.
Balancing deceptively spare prose and descriptions of 1960s Australian life that are by turns starkly confronting and exquisitely beautiful, MAGGIE is the story of a complex, forbidden relationship and a woman who both loses and finds herself anew..
As soon as I swam past the first phrase I was in, in a world, past yet present, old yet eternally young, a world I did not want to leave. A story of abuse, yes, a story of betrayal, yes, but above all a work of high literature that was as gripping as it was meaningful. I read till one in the morning. The characters are all sharply defined, the narrative voice powerful, mesmerising. The language is unerringly beautiful and poised, but so natural, you are there - immediately, standing in the garden, in the cities she describes. This is the story of a woman's near annihilation and her recovering the scattered atoms of her life - as if she were finding her way back to a lost garden that was there before everything happened. - Catherine de Saint Phalle, Stella-Prize shortlisted author of Poum and Alexandre