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Synopsis

This beautifully written and gripping debut is as moving as it is frightening, and as heartbreaking as it is tender.

Tom and Jordy have been living with their gran since the day their mother, Loretta, left them on her doorstep and disappeared.

Now Loretta’s returned, and she wants her boys back.

Tom and Jordy hit the road with Loretta in her beat-up car. The family of three journeys across the country, squabbling, bonding, searching and reconnecting.

But Loretta isn’t mother material. She’s broke, unreliable, lost. And there’s something else that’s not quite right with this reunion.

They reach the west coast and take refuge in a beachside caravan park. Their neighbour, a surly old man, warns the kids to stay away. But when Loretta disappears again the boys have no choice but to ask the old man for help, and now they face new threats and new fears.

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'Suspenseful,  tough and moving, this book had to be written. I can see see the film already.' Robert Drewe

'...a powerhouse of a book, one of those novels that is so evocative of the Australian landscape that it seems almost to be part of it. A pitch-perfect capturing of characters who are instantly recognisable, effortlessly rendered and irresistibly pathos-inducing.' Australian Womens Weekly

'Utterly convincing. These boys are so real, you will lie awake worrying about them, hoping that somehow they will find their way through it.' Cate Kennedy

[Romy Ash’s debut] is full of heart. Her voice is already strong, her writing assured….It is the unusual way that Ash describes their world that captures the reader’s imagination…Reminiscent of Favel Parret’s recent Past the Shallows, and as Australian as Kenneth Cook’s Wake in Fright, it’s a cracking debut.’ Louise Swinn, Weekend Australian

'After finishing this amazing debut novel I felt as if someone had ripped my heart out, stomped on it and put it back in. It is a very emotional novel...Romy Ash's talent as writer is obvious from the novel's opening pages. Her debut novel is perfectly precise and devastatingly amazing. The plight of Tom and Jordy will break your heart but you will stick by them until the end.' Jon Page, Bite the Book

'Ash’s novel deftly captures the fading innocence of a boy who witnesses more than he understands; what he leaves unsaid is as revealing as what he articulates. Floundering blends spare but elegant prose with a gripping plot and an assured sense of place. It’s an impressive first novel that heralds the arrival of a talented new voice in Australian literary fiction. 4 stars.' Australian Bookseller & Publisher

'The writing in Floundering is impressive. The voice of the young narrator rings consistent and true, the characters feel honestly portrayed, and the countryside and unrelenting heat are depicted so clearly that they almost become supporting characters, shaping the story as strongly as any person.' Australian Book Review

'The writing is visceral and observant, and clearly brings to life the intensely focused gaze of childhood….Floundering is a strong, resonant debut that hopefully signals what’s to come.' Readings Monthly

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