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Tiny Uncertain Miracles

Michelle Johnston

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31 January 2024
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Miracles are notoriously unreliable. But sometimes, just when they're needed, they turn up - although not always in the form that we expect ...

'A novel luminous with love and hope that will change the way you see the world.' Kathryn Heyman

Awkward, hapless Marick is still struggling with the loss of his wife, his child and his faith when he is reluctantly thrust into the position of chaplain at a large public hospital. Shortly after arriving, he meets Hugo, a hospital scientist and a man almost as lost as Marick himself, who is working in a forgotten lab, deep in the subterranean realms of the hospital. Hugo is convinced that the bacteria he uses for protein production have - unbelievably - begun to produce gold. Is it alchemy, evolution, a hoax or even ... possibly ... a miracle?

In the meantime, Christmas is approaching, the number of homeless outside the hospital is increasing, the Director of Operational Services is pressing Marick about his weekly KPIs, you can't buy chocolate in the hospital shop anymore, and Marick keeps waking with nightmares at 4 am every night. If ever a miracle was needed, it's now.

A tender, sweet, sad, gritty, slyly funny and unexpectedly uplifting novel about family, friendship, faith, love - and alchemy - Tiny Uncertain Miracles is a hopeful and luminous gift to all readers.


'Johnston captures the brutal reality of life with a lyricism and gentleness that will touch many. Readers of Elizabeth Strout, Mitch Albom and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will find similarities and enjoyment in Tiny Uncertain Miracles' Books+Publishing

'Charming ... The writing is sharp, clever and delicate ... A joyous and moving read' Sydney Morning Herald

'A poignant, heartfelt story about faith, miracles, friendship and forgiveness' West Australian

'Tiny Uncertain Miracles strikes gold ... Written with warm empathy, and deep, intellectual rigour ... A writer working at the height of her skill' The Australian

'Johnston has delivered a compelling and skilfully constructed novel full to brimming with families, friendship, the intricacies of flawed human behaviour and the frailty of the human body. It will make you smile while breaking your heart. Fans of Hilde Hinton's A Solitary Walk on the Moon and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will find a home in their hearts for Tiny Uncertain Miracles' Readings

'Johnston ... touches on difficult subjects with a light hand and a gentle tone, delivered through clean, supple, accessible prose. There is a deceptive simplicity to the work, which, on closer inspection, turns out to be the elegance of a right fit. Johnston has skilfully crafted a cohesive and engaging tale ... with an empowering message of hope and meaning' Australian Book Review

'Michelle Johnston's highly anticipated second novel is literary chiaroscuro with a dash of figurative pointillism ... Johnston's prose stuns. The usual writerly cliches (masterful, poetic, nuanced, evocative) don't do her work adequate justice. Tiny Uncertain Miracles is an intelligent exploration of logical fallacies, mysterious proteins and the unbearable fragility of life' Writing WA

Imprint:   HARPER360
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   247g
ISBN:   9781460764619
ISBN 10:   1460764617
Pages:   336
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Michelle Johnston is both an emergency physician and an author. On good days it is difficult to tell the difference. She is a Staff Specialist at the Royal Perth Hospital Emergency Department, a busy inner-city trauma centre where she works as both clinician and teacher. Michelle's first novel, Dustfall, was published by UWA Publishing in February 2018 and shortlisted for the MUD Literary Prize for a debut novel in 2019. She speaks and holds workshops, for both doctors and normal people, about marrying critical care and creativity, and she is occupied searching for the beauty and awe in an often-brutal reality.

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