"From the 1989 Australian/Vogel Literary Award Winner comes an immediately engaging novel-in-stories, written in a deceptively simple style. It tells the story of Rose, three or four years old as the novel opens, a teenager as it ends.
"Rose loves the beach, her sister, her mother. Most of all, she lover her Dad, and Dad's music. But too few people want to hear him, and sometimes Rose and Wanda and Mum have to fit uncomfortably into other people's lives.
"Mandy Sayer uncovers the powerlessness of a child with an entirely steady hand. Her social observations are often bleak, yet she draws the reader into a deep and lasting involvement with all her characters, and especially with the feisty, irrestibile Rose."
If you'd asked her how old she was, she would have pulled her thumb out of her mouth and held up four sand-covered fingers. But she knew how to say 'fair dinkum' and 'bloody eh', how to make her father and his circle of muso mates double over with laughter beneath the shade of their bush hats and faded terry towelling caps. 'G'day, mate,' and 'c'mon, fair suck of the sav', brought gentle guffaws and daily gifts of ginger beer and Coogee meat pies with tomato sauce.
You gunna learn to swim, luv?' asked Laurie Foster, a trumpet player, as he dabbed a lump of zinc cream on her nose, one morning.
'Where you gunna swim to?'
'The moon -' mused Laurie. 'Whatcha gunna do there, luv?'
She shrugged and looked at her father. 'I'm, urn, I'm gunna, I'm gunna wee on the world.'
From the Allen and Unwin paperback edition, 1988.
This novel was the winner of the Australian/Vogel Award in 1989.
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Last modified: October 8, 2001.