ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Twin nine year old brothers Jon and Eden lose their parents in an appalling car accident. Jon who narrates this story, saw what happened to them, and it's the only secret he keeps from his beloved brother. Both boys were dreadfully injured, and as part of their rehabilitation take on swimming to gain back their strength. It becomes both solace and identity for them, as they negotiate life without their parents, and with their step-grandmother, Bobbie. She has never wanted or had children, is struggling with the earlier loss of her husband, and now landed with the twins, struggles to cope with the demands of bringing them up while running her vineyard. Already very close, the boys draw closer together, though they are rivals in swimming. By the time they are sixteen, they will be enemies because life is not smooth, and Carmelina happens to them both… Striking prose, pared back and poetic at times, which examines the bonds of brotherhood and family, the effects of grief and desperation, and what is truly important and vitally essential in reaching acceptance and maturity. I won't be surprised if this is on award lists next year... Lindy
Campbell Mattinson is an Australian editor, writer and critic. He is a former editor of Halliday Magazine, was the founding editor of Australian Sommelier Magazine, has been the publisher of The Wine Front website since 2002 and is the former SUNDAY Magazine wine columnist in Sydney and Melbourne. He was also a columnist at Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine for nearly ten years, ending in 2011. He has won sportswriting awards and short story awards in Australia, and more recently awards for his wine writing.