"Bluebottle is a tour de force, utterly assured, intricately designed and brilliantly imagined. This is a remarkable portrait of family anguish, gradually unfolded: engrossing, suspenseful and deeply moving...” – Gail Jones
With sea-salt authenticity, Belinda Castles sets the Bright family in the sprawling paradise of Bilgola Beach. But darkness is found both in the iconic setting as well as in the disturbing behaviour of one of the family.
As he tilted the blinds she saw her mother in her tennis whites, standing at the kitchen bench, staring out into the dark bushland that bordered their houses. That was what Tricia did these days, looked into the bush as though it would attack one of them.
On a sweltering day in a cliff-top beach shack, Jack and Lou Bright grow suspicious about the behaviour of their charismatic, unpredictable father, Charlie. A girl they know has disappeared, and as the day unfolds, Jack's eruptions of panic, Lou's sultry rebellions and their little sister Phoebe's attention-seeking push the family towards revelation.
Twenty years later, the Bright children have remained close to the cliff edges, russet sand and moody ocean of their childhood. Behind the beautiful surfaces of their daily lives lies the difficult landscape of their past, always threatening to break through. And then, one night in late summer, they return to the house on the cliff...
Gripping and evocative, Bluebottle is a story of a family bound by an inescapable past, from the award-winning author of The River Baptists and Hannah and Emil.
About the Author
Belinda Castles won the Australian/Vogel's literary award for The River Baptists in 2006 and was one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2008. Her next novel, Hannah & Emil, won the Asher Literary Award for 2012-13. She has recently returned from teaching in the UK and is currently a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Sydney. Belinda lives with her husband and daughters on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.