A YA novel for older readers
First published by Thomas Lothian, South Melbourne.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
If you would like to see Kings Creek Station, or School of the Air, try their websites. They are www.kingscreekstation.com.au and www.assoa.nt.edu.au
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.'