ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This strange and beautiful novel won the 2020 Victorian Premier's Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. It blends a mix of narrative techniques - computer messages, split dual interactions, official notices - with the traditional third person, all to great effect. It's set in Fraser (read Melbourne/Geelong) a city that is repositioning itself. Literally. A resident may wake one morning and find their front door has moved. Or the entire house relocated to another part of the city. Roads no longer go where they were meant to. Buildings may be balanced on other buildings. Tourists visit for the thrill of discovery, and the occupants wearily accept and get on with the changes. Into this uncertain place, Alice returns from a long time overseas and lands on her sister Lydia's doorstep. Alice is secretive about her past, but she was part of a collective which launched cutting (and cutting-edge) artworks on unsuspecting cities. Lydia stayed home, dealing with their difficult parents and bringing up her son George whilst holding down a demanding data mining job. She doesn't welcome Alice reappearing in her life, but George, who has secrets of his own and has stopped talking, knows it will bring the spark back to his increasingly stressed mother. A novel full of ideas, of the disconnect in contemporary life from things once considered merely important and that reveal as essential, of secrets held and unleashed - and very beautifully written indeed. Lindy
Rhett Davis is from the Wadawurrung country of Geelong and its nearby coastal towns. He has published in places like The Big Issue, Meanjin and The Sleepers Almanac. In 2015, he completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Hovering was written as part of a PhD at Deakin University and won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2020. Rhett has lived in several places but always finds his way back to Geelong, where he lives with his partner and two talkative cats.