Sweet Old World
'He goes down the stairs, singing Johnny Cash. It's a song about a man who's fallen real low, but he's not low, he's forty-three years old today, there's still time. You never know what is waiting, you just never know. This morning he can hope. And this is the thing he doesn't ever talk about: He wants to be a father, now, not later, he doesn't want to waste one more minute of his life.' David Quinn's dream of family has for years eluded him. Surely what he wants is simple? It's only what other men have, but there's no woman in his life, and now that he's living on a remote island in the Atlantic, do his hopes still stand a chance?
It's summer on the Irish island of Inishmore, and the tourists are arriving. They're coming for the wild beauty and the five thousand years of history, the Celtic legends and the burial sites of saints. They're coming for the drink and the sex and the craic. Seventeen-year-old Esther Bradley has come from Fremantle, on the west coast of Australia. On harsh Inishmore, where people have always struggled to survive, she is battling the landscape of her own mind. David Quinn is reluctant to catch Esther when she tumbles dangerously into his life, but happiness is about to burst upon him, and every simple thing he's wanted will soon be close enough to touch. But is anything ever really simple any more?
Set among the ancient stories of the haunting Aran Islands, reaching to London in the 1980s and contemporary Australia, this is an unforgettable love story about life's wounds to the spirit and flesh, and the hope we all have for healing, for one more lucky roll of the dice. Following the bestselling and acclaimed Careless, Sweet Old World establishes Deborah Robertson as one of our most enthralling and original storytellers, a writer whose tender, fearless vision carries her readers close to the human heart. Deborah Robertson
was born in Bridgetown, WA. Her first book, Proudflesh, won the Steele Rudd Award for the best Australian short story collection in its year of publication, and her stories have been widely published at home and abroad. Her first novel, Careless (Picador, 2006), was published to wide acclaim and bestseller status, and was shortlisted for a number of literary prizes including the prestigious Miles Franklin Award in 2007. A long-term resident of Fremantle, she now lives in Melbourne.
Sweet Old World
Random House Australia
Author: Deborah Robertson
Interview with Deborah Robertson Question:
What inspired you to write Sweet Old World?Deborah Robertson
: I tell stories about people, it's my work, it's what I do. And the story I chose to tell in this case is a love story about a man who yearns to be a father.Question:
What research went into Sweet Old World?Deborah Robertson
: I revisited the Irish island of Inishmore, one of the three Aran Islands which lie at the western rim of Europe.Question:
How do you go about writing a book that reaches to London in the 1980s and contemporary Australia?Deborah Robertson
: I lived in London in the 1980s, and now I live in Australia - I observe and I reflect.Question:
Can you talk about your writing process?Deborah Robertson
: I write draft after draft after draft, with the aim of saying something that feels true.Question:
Why did you decide to participate in the Adelaide Writers Week?Deborah Robertson
: Because they asked me nicely - and because Frank Moorhouse is launching my book there.Buy it now at