Author(s): Helena Fox
Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults 2020. Biz knows how to float. She has her posse, her mum and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, and who shouldn't be here - because he died when she was seven - but is. So she doesn't tell anyone her dark thoughts. She knows how to float, right there on the surface - normal okay regular fine. But when the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone - when her dad disappears along with all comfort - might it be easier, better, sweeter to float away? This is a mesmerising, radiant debut. It's a story about love, grief, family and friendship, about intergenerational mental illness, and about how living with it is both a bridge and a chasm to the ones we've lost. Helena Fox explores the hard, bewildering and beautiful places loss can take us, and honours those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea. 'Every now and then you pick up a novel and you know you've found something wonderful - a glorious voice, a character you adore. Helen Fox's novel delivers. It is exquisite. Read it.' Cath Crowley
Winner - Victorian Premier's Prize for Young Adult Fiction 2020 CBCA Shortlist 2020:Book of the Year: Older Readers
CBCA Review:This is a visceral and haunting exploration of mental illness and grief. It is not an easy book to read and trigger warnings should be heeded. It is, however, a compelling and important story. Narrator Biz is coming to terms with her identity and her struggles with mental health, and this is portrayed in a sensitive and realistic manner. Readers may feel confused at times as there is a lack of clarity surrounding Biz's diagnosis. This confusion adds to the tone of the novel and creates a feeling of fogginess which works to the advantage of the story. This author provides readers with a web of creative literary techniques that guide the exploration of the self and mind in great detail. The inter-generational relationship between Biz and Sylvia is particularly enjoyable and offers a sense of hope. This novel takes readers on a complex and personal journey without becoming didactic. It is an impressive debut about a topic that is becoming increasingly pertinent for young adults.