A lyrical novel of two mothers from different generations and how their lives converge in one hot, wet summer. From the bestselling author of The Railwayman's Wife.
Luminous and deeply affecting, A Hundred Small Lessons is about the many small decisions - the invisible moments - that come to make a life. The intertwined lives of two women from different generations tell a rich and intimate story of how we feel what it is to be human, and how place can transform who we are. It takes account of what it means to be mother or daughter; father or son. It's a story of love, and of life.
When Elsie Gormley falls and is forced to leave her Brisbane home of sixty-two years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, with their new life - new house, new city, new baby. Lucy and her husband Ben are struggling to transform from adventurous lovers to new parents and seek to smooth the rough edges of their present with memories of their past as they try to discover their future selves.
In her nearby nursing home, Elsie revisits the span of her life - the moments she can't bear to let go; the haunts to which she might yet return. Her memories of marriage, motherhood, love and death are intertwined with her old house, whose rooms seem to breathe Elsie's secrets into Lucy.
Through one hot, wet Brisbane summer, seven lives - and two different slices of time - wind along with the flow of the river, as two families chart the ways in which we come, sudden and oblivious, into each other's stories, and the unexpected ripples that flow out from those chance encounters.
'A luminous evocation of ordinary lives and the city that shapes them. Ashley Hay brings a pointillist eye to the daily miracles of love, of chance, of belonging.' KRIS OLSSON, author of Kibble prize-winner Boy, Lost
Ashley Hay's latest novel is A Hundred Small Lessons.
Her previous novel, The Railwayman's Wife, received the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies' Colin Roderick Award, and the People's Choice at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. It was published in the UK, the US and in translation.
Her earlier work has won accolades in Australia and abroad, most recently the 2016 Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing. She has been longlisted for awards including the Miles Franklin and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and shortlisted for awards including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Kibble.
She lives in Brisbane.
Shortlisted Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year - Queensland Premier's Literary Awards 2017 AU; Shortlisted Best Fiction - Queensland Premier's Literary Awards 2017 AU
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format