Only Ever Always

Penni Russon
AUD $16.99

Does the world shape us, or do we shape the world? A suspenseful story of parallel realities - two girls in two worlds with two different ways to survive. 'Fascinating and absolutely memorable.' - Ursula Dubosarsky

WINNER: 2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature

Who dreams the dreamer?

Claire lives in an ordinary world where everything is whole. But inside Claire is broken. The silvery notes of her music box allow her an escape from her grief into a dream-world, into Clara's world.

Clara's world has always been broken. She finds broken things to swap at the markets; she walks the treacherous route past the brown river where lone dogs prowl; she avoids the seamy side when she can, but with powerful people pulling the strings, it's not always possible.

Which world is real?

Claire's and Clara's paths are set to collide, and each has much to lose - or gain.

Original and poetic, this captivating novel explores dreams, grief, friendship and love through a brilliantly constructed dystopian fantasy world.

'Like the sound of the little loved music box that is so pivotal to the story, Penni Russon's Only Ever Always is both deeply touching and strangely eerie, leaving the reader with a mixture of warmth and apprehension, yearning and wonder - about death, life, language, art,dreams and childhood. Fascinating and absolutely memorable.' - Ursula Dubosarsky

Author bio:

Penni Russon was born in Hobart, and spent her childhood roaming around on a small mountain. Eventually she had to grow up, and she moved from Tasmania to Melbourne to study classics, archaeology, women's studies and contemporary literature. She writes, edits and teaches creative writing, and lives in outer Melbourne with her husband and three children.

Find out more about Penni at, or her blog

Category: Young adult fiction
ISBN: 9781741750447
Awards: Winner, Aurealis Awards, Young Adult, 2011
Commended, CBCA Book of the Year, Older Readers, 2012
Winner, WA Premier's Book Awards, Young Adult, 2012
Winner, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Ethel Turner Prize, 2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: A & U Children
Pub Date: August 2011
Page Extent: 180
Format: Paperback - B format
Age: 12 - 16
Subject: Young adult fiction

Teachers Notes

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