Carrie's Song

A YA novel for older readers

First published by Thomas Lothian, South Melbourne.
‘Carrie’s Song’ is available online as an ebook to purchase or borrow through Amazon Kindle Books.

'The girl who watches the sky fears it. The sky presses onto the land, pinned down by the spikes and needles of the desert oaks. Along the seam of sky and land, colour bleeds from red earth and stains the horizon.
If the great stitching of the trees were to give way, she and the sky would peel away and slowly spiral upwards until lost in infinite space.'

What's the book about?

This story traces the first seventeen years of Carrie, the main character, and the six interwoven lives of Carrie, her absent mother Caro, her grandparents Tash and Chancey, a friend Anna (Carrie's age), and Anna's mother Jenifer, both from Flinders Island.

Caro at age sixteen has saved her close friend, Jenifer from drowning, but Jenifer has lost touch with her. When Caro abandons her child, Carrie for the last time at age four, Tash and Chancey bring up Carrie on the Northern Territory camel and cattle stations where they work.
Anna, Jenifer's daughter, and Carrie meet three times as children. Caro's and Jenifer's relationship still remains unknown to the two girls.

Carrie, an astute naturalist, is fascinated by the small desert mammals of central Australia, and after four years of searching in the Kings Canyon/Gill Range, re-discovers the Lesser Stick Nest rat, presumed to be extinct.

Carrie is forced to leave the Centre and return to the family home in Castlemaine, while Anna, needing to leave Flinders Island to finish school, also returns with her mother, Jenifer to Castlemaine.
Caro, now a successful singer, reappears and enters a stormy relationship with her grown daughter, with unexpected outcomes.

Comments from Bron Blake

I wanted to write the intertwined, contrasting but also mirrored lives of Carrie and her mother Caro, and Anna and her mother, Jenifer, and the influences and impact they have on each other.
Because of this multi-layering, I thought the structuring of the book was very important. I needed to have the different voices of the five main characters clear and separate over a period of twenty years. To do this without losing the complex thread of the narrative, I have used diaries, letters and internal thoughts through the prose narrative.
In a sprawling sort of book like this, I found it really difficult to keep the character's lives in line but still interacting with each other, and without ending up with a chopped up mess! I hope I succeeded!


Carrie in Carrie's Pool

A major influence on the writing of Carrie’s Song was the environments in which the characters live: the ecology, habitats and creatures of the West MacDonnells Ranges, Kings Canyon, Kings Creek station, the Douglas Daly rivers region and Flinders Island. However the events which sparked the writing of the story were, firstly, being shown the nest of the extinct stick-nest rat, while I was staying at Kings Creek Station, N.T. and, secondly, talking to a young woman, Sarana, who lived at Kings Creek and was then a student of Alice Springs School of the Air.
If you would like to see Kings Creek Station, or School of the Air, try their websites. They are and

To act as a complete contrast to the central Australian desert, I chose Flinders Island as the place for Anna to grow up. I wanted both places to be wild and isolated, but totally different environments. And as you might guess, I love writing about the remote parts of this amazing continent we live in!

One of the best things about being a writer is that you go to fascinating places and meet interesting people. In the course of writing Carrie's Song, I spoke several times to the Year 7 students of the Alice Springs School of the Air using my phone at home in Victoria, relayed to their remote homes through their teacher's HF radio at the ASSOA school based in Alice! I found that amazing! You can find out more about these students in the book and also read the 'letter to Anna' which is a compilation of their responses to my question, 'Please tell me about your week.'