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The floorboards were hard and uneven as she knelt beside the Saratoga. Squeezing the corroded latch, Gin carefully eased open the lid, trying to predict the treasures inside. The lining was shabby and mottled with mildew, and drifts of mustiness filled the air as she began to unearth the contents from the shrouding dust. Mostly books, she found, a few toys, and a fat-cheeked doll lying naked on top. What had she expected?

It is 1956, and twelve-year old Gin has arrived at the family farm, 'Grasswood', in the South West of Western Australia. She has been left in the care of her lively, idiosyncratic aunt, Attie, while her mother, an English war bride, returns home for a holiday. Gin is the youngest of three generations of very different women, whose lives are profoundly affected by the absence of Jasper: son, brother, husband, father. A fixed point in all their lives is the landscape, layered with beauty and fear, challenge and consolation, isolation and freedom.

Beautifully written, Finding Jasper is an acute, sensitive search for love and a sense of self in a rapidly changing world.

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