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In a small country town during one long, hot summer, the Bloom family begins to unravel. Marital secrets, new and long-hidden, surface—with devastating effect.
Martha is straining against the confines of her life, lost in regret for what might have been, when an old flame shows up. In turn, her husband, Mike, becomes frustrated with his increasingly distant wife. While teenagers Tilly and Ben are about to step out into the world, nine-year-old Ada is holding onto a childhood that will soon be lost to her.
When Ada discovers an abandoned well beneath a rusting windmill, she is drawn to its darkness and danger. And when she witnesses a shocking and confusing event, the well’s foreboding looms large in her mind—a driving force as events lead inexorably towards tragedy.
The Last Summer of Ada Bloom is a beguiling story about the fragility of family relationships, about the secrets we keep and the power they hold to shape our lives. And about the love that somehow holds it all together.
About the Author
Martine Murray was born in Melbourne and now lives in Castlemaine in Victoria. She is an award-winning children’s novelist and illustrator. The Last Summer of Ada Bloom is her first novel for adults.
Loved this book. It had so much in it. The characters sprang to life. It was sad, with some humor thrown in.
"The moonlight had crept in and bathed everything in eerie shining tones. Everything that looked so familiar during the day was now hiding its true self in a cloak of shadow. Something monstrous lurked in that sort of stillness. It was getting ready. Ada didn't like it."
The Last Summer of Ada Bloom is the first novel for adults by award-winning Australian author, Martine Murray. It's 1982 and the Bloom family (Mum, Dad, three kids and the dog), living in Wattle Gully in country Victoria, feels a bit like it's coming unstitched. Mike sells insurance and provides for the family but his wife's coolness sees him tempted elsewhere.
Martha is feeling her age: "…arthritis… it was the first sign, a harbinger of the degradations of age. She had arrived on that other side of life where bodies start to undo" and a visit from their past crystallises her dissatisfaction with life: "What had gone was the expanse of possibility, the space of unlived potential, the feeling of being hurled through endless days like a bird goes through the sky, unburdened, hungry, oblivious and free. And now all that energy had collected its wild memories and unrolled itself into the sedate, solid form of a weatherboard-enclosed family."
Seventeen-year-old Tilly is aware of the looming prospect of sex and acutely conscious of her unease socially: "Talking at parties was hard work – you had to wear your party self, that pretend sort of lively shining self, and the effort to conjure it showed through like a dirty mark on a pale-coloured dress."
Fifteen-year-old Ben, meanwhile, may be his mother's favourite, but has Mike concerned: "Ben's self-assurance was unsettling. It was as if he knew the ropes so well he didn't need to use them anymore. He was too well wired for his own good – all savvy and charm and not enough truth. He was almost the opposite of Ada, in whom truth burned so bright it made her fierce."
Ada, nine, "…was so dramatic, so convinced by her own imaginings", a girl who named
The Last Summer of Ada Bloom
`Martine Murray's writing is majestical and sophisticated.' * Books+Publishing * `Murray's storytelling is so fresh and beguiling that, for a moment, we feel this is great wisdom heard for the first time.' * The Times * `Murray moves easily between the everyday and the sublime, her language nuanced, slow, pleasurable.' * Adelaide Advertiser * `Murray's descriptive prose is lovely, often exquisite...A wonderfully heart-warming read.' * BookMooch * `Secrets, sisters, sex, adolescence and ageing. All the magnificent and aimless themes of being human are thoroughly waded through and held up to the searing summer sun for scrutiny in Martine Murray's first book for adults...A hugely accomplished work.' * Big Issue *
ISBN: 9781925498714 ISBN-10: 1925498719 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 288 Published: 3rd September 2018 Publisher: Text Publishing Co Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.3
Weight (kg): 0.38