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State Highway One

Sam Coley



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25 August 2020
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This was one of my favourite reads during the disquiet of early COVID19 and it stayed with me a while (the story, not the virus). 

Coley's writing crackles with a youthfulness as it launches into a road trip running the full extent of New Zealand, for which twin siblings Alex and Amy seem strangely ill-prepared. Along the way we glimpse into their strained relationship and their memories as children of successful, but often absent globetrotting parents. We also piece together Alex's life away from his home country of New Zealand, now working & playing hard in the information economy in the shimmering mirage of Dubai. A young man, far from home, finding his way through sexual self-discovery and self-exile from his family. As the kilometres rack up, so do the glitches that tell us all is not as it appears. A poignant and resonant story that will entrance many. Craig Kirchner


This is what I want to do. I want to go home. I want you to come with me. 'I want to go from here...' Finger on Cape Reinga. '... to here.' Finger at the bottom of Stewart Island, right at the bottom of the map.

It's been years since Alex was in New Zealand, and years since he spent any one-on-one time with his twin sister, Amy. When they lose their parents in a shock accident it seems like the perfect time to reconnect as siblings. To reconnect with this country they call 'home'.

As they journey the length of State Highway One, they will scratch at wounds that have never healed - and Alex will be forced to reckon with what coming home really means.
'A journey filled with beautifully flawed characters and a landscape that truly got under my skin' - Melina Marchetta, bestselling author of LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI and A PLACE IN DALHOUSIE

'it has the makings of a contemporary classic'- R.W.R. McDonald, author of THE NANCYS 
'State Highway One is a wild ride from one end of NZ to another and inside a grieving and troubled mind. Be careful when you pick it up, because you won't put it down until you finish.' - Jon Doust, author of BOY ON A WIRE

'Terrifically drawn characters, a narrative that is both entertaining and increasingly tense, all sparkling with a gorgeous sense of humour.' - Nigel Featherstone, author of BODIES OF MEN

By:   Sam Coley
Imprint:   Hachette
Country of Publication:   New Zealand
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   470g
ISBN:   9781869714260
ISBN 10:   1869714261
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   25 August 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sam Coley's two favourite things in the world are taking photos and dancing. Most nights, however, he can be found at his desk with a pen and a legal pad and a bottle of wine. He has called New Zealand, Australia and the UK all home at some point, and probably still would. His debut novel, State Highway One, was the winner of the 2017 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.

Reviews for State Highway One

Coley masterfully crafts Alex's distress and reveals just enough history to make the narrative both believable and utterly compelling. The book is, at its heart, about repressed grief, trauma, and the ties that bind us.Humorous, insightful, and ultimately affecting, State Highway One unpicks the uneasy nature of family and the difficulty of escaping your past. - Australian Book Review

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