ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Set in the Grampian region of Victoria, and stretching over four decades, this tells the story of Lawrence and Paul. Their father died in the war, and their mother, who is distant and strict but not unloving, works hard to provide for them. When her long-lost brother comes to stay, the boys react differently. Lawrie, the oldest and gifted at art, basks in the attention of the older man, but Paul, who has always looked up to Lawrie, doesn't need a father figure and is suspicious of the uncle and his motives. When an unspeakable act occurs, Lawrie falls ill, develops a debilitating stammer and becomes socially isolated, finding solace in his painting. It isn't until 40 years later, when a family moves into the neighbouring farmhouse and upends his solitary existence, that Lawrie makes a friend of 10 yo David - and an enemy of his older sister... A powerful, wrenching and unforgettable novel of damage and redemption, of seeing the world as no one else does, of brotherly love and tolerance, and of the loneliness of a man whose childhood was stolen from him, but who never learnt to become an adult. Lindy Jones
Lawrence Loman is a bright, caring, curious boy with a gift for painting. He lives at home with his mother and younger brother, and the future is laid out before him, full of promise. But when he is ten, an experience of betrayal takes it all away, and Lawrence is left to deal with the devastating aftermath.
As he grows into a man, how will he make sense of what he has suffered? He cannot rewrite history, but must he be condemned to repeat it?
Lawrence finds meaning in the best way he knows. By surrendering himself to art and nature, he creates beauty - beauty made all the more astonishing and soulful for the deprivation that gives rise to it.
Infinite Splendours is an extraordinary novel, incandescent with love and compassion, rich in colour and character. The power and virtuosity of Laguna's writing make it impossible for us to look away; by being seen, Lawrence is redeemed.
And we, as readers, have had our minds and hearts opened in ways we can't forget.