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Trudy Adams

Born in 1987, Trudy has always been passionate about the power of words and working with young people. She began what would become her first novel, Desolate Beauty, at 17. It was published in 2009 and won third prize in the Australian Christian Book of the Year Award. Her second novel, Judging Meghan, followed in 2010, and Broken Melody was released in 2013. Her fourth novel, The Sunshine List, won second prize in the Australian Young Christian Writers Award (2015) and was published in 2017. Having finished her youth work postgraduate degree in 2010 and worked with disadvantaged young people for more than nine years, Trudy is now a caseworker who endeavours to provide children of all ages with safety and security. She currently lives in the Lack Macquarie region of New South Wales, Australia.

“What’s the country coming to? Losing our homes, our jobs, that’s one thing, but to lose our respect for each other, to stoop to this level to survive – it’s… it’s primitive!”

Meghan Manley is the middle child of five, and her family are quite content living on their farm in 1931 Australia. But when they are forced to leave and join hundreds of others on the road, looking for work, they are faced with both the best and worst of humanity.

At sixteen Meghan is not sure how to take this new life of desparation and uncertainty. Her friendships, beliefs and sense of self are tested, but nothing more so than her own character, pivoted on one of the hardest things of all – the need to forgive.

“I must say, Caitlyn, I have heard from some of your other teachers that you haven’t been as attentive as you used to be, and that you’re missing more and more assignments. It’s not lack of skills, so why are you letting it get away from you?”

Spending more time in the deputy principal’s office was not what 14-year-old Caitlyn had in mind when she began Year 9 in her semi-arid Australian town. As far as she was concerned, life was perfect until her wayward cousin joined the household, her parents started fighting, her best friend turned into Public Enemy No. 1, and her mum started making her write to-do lists.

Surely growing up wasn’t meant to be this complicated. Now not only does Caitlyn have to navigate the unforgiving wilderness of school, but find a way to preserve the ties that are only just holding her family together.




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