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Publisher's Summary

The author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton returns with All Our Shimmering Skies - the best-selling, critically acclaimed novel destined to become another Australian classic.

"A glinting, big-hearted miracle of a book." (Richard Glover)

"A work of shimmering originality and energy, with extraordinary characters and a clever, thrilling plot...unputdownable." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Darwin, 1942, and as Japanese bombs rain down, motherless Molly Hook, the gravedigger's daughter, turns once again to the sky for guidance. She carries a stone heart inside a duffel bag next to the map that leads to Longcoat Bob, the deep-country sorcerer who put a curse on her family. By her side are the most unlikely travelling companions: Greta, a razor-tongued actress, and Yukio, a fallen Japanese fighter pilot. Run, Molly, run, says the daytime sky. Run to the vine forests. Run to northern Australia's wild and magical monsoon lands. Run to friendship. Run to love. Run. Because the graverobber's coming, Molly, and the night-time sky is coming with him. So run, Molly, run.

All Our Shimmering Skies is a story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. It is an odyssey of true love and grave danger, of darkness and light, of bones and blue skies; a buoyant, beautiful and magical novel abrim with warmth, wit and wonder; and a love letter to Australia and the art of looking up.

"Dalton is an author of 19th-century expansiveness, one with a sense that intelligence, talent for characterisation and sheer narrative brio can still be the whole cloth of the writer's ambition...it is storytelling manna, fallen straight from the Territorian skies." (The Australian)

"Achingly beautiful and poetic in its melancholy, All Our Shimmering Skies is a majestic and riveting tale of curses and the true meaning of treasure." (Booklist, starred review)

"As Australian as outback red dirt and as universal as the sky young Molly Hook's journey takes place beneath, All Our Shimmering Skies is an open-hearted wonder, by turns heartbreaking and full of hope, no less than an instant classic." (Venero Armanno)

"Australia has a new literary hero. Molly Hook - part Cordelia, part Jo March, part Pippi Longstocking - pulls us into a story and a landscape that is mythic, beguiling and almost hallucinatory in its beauty. And instantly recognisable as our own." (Kristina Olsson)

"This is storytelling at its absolute purest, a truly courageous expression of longing, hope and love...against unimaginable odds." (Asher Keddie)

"All Our Shimmering Skies is the follow-up to Boy Swallows Universe we could have never imagined, but the one Dalton was destined to gift us. It's a story of heroes and villains, foxes and water buffalo, fighter planes and birds of prey, real magic and real love, epitaphs and aphorisms, lost treasure and lost life. It's a love letter to the nation. It's your favourite childhood adventure story dictated by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and William Shakespeare, with a score by Franz Liszt. It's dead serious. It's completely ridiculous. It's all of these things and more." (Booktopia)

©2020 Trent Dalton (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about All Our Shimmering Skies

Average Customer Ratings
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Got to Chapter 20, Couldn’t finish

I absolutely loved Boy Swallows Universe and could hardly wait for this book.

Perhaps If I had actually read it it I would have appreciated it more.

Unfortunately, for me the narrator was just way too over the top with her voice. It sounded like a children’s book - and not a very good one. Her portrayal of Molly was just silly, bordering on annoying.

I’m not sure if the narrator made the story itself sound amateurish but that was the overall feeling it left me with.

Lots of tangents - not helping build characters or plot lines. Lots of pointless sentences.

A lot of weak, corny, cliched characters .

When you find yourself cringing and rolling your eyes when listening to a story... it’s just not a good story.

Sorry, Trent Dalton. I still think you’re an incredible writer.

24 people found this helpful

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Cant get past the narrator

I couldnt listen any further to the narrator. I will buy the book because I cannot believe the book is that bad.

17 people found this helpful

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narrator not for me

the narrator was very enthusiastic but just not to my liking. couldn't listen to this book, might try to read it.

8 people found this helpful

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Weird story made worse by reader

Having loved Boy Swallows Universe, I found this one very hard to listen to. The earlier novel certainly had an element of magic realism, which I enjoyed, but at bottom it was a realistic story of a family dealing with all manner of crises in Brisbane. The later one is off the charts of magic realism, to the point that I could accept very little of it as credible, and did not care about Molly, Greta and the rest. I kept wondering how much my impression of the book was spoilt by the reader, Ruby Rees, whose style I found repellent from the very start. She emphasizes every second word of the book, rising to a shriek whenever she reads a line from Molly. She makes Molly sound an awful moraliser for a start - she knows everything from the age of seven. I went back to the audio book many times with the intention of finishing it, but did not last long. Finally, with about 90 mins to go, I bailed out of the book with relief. I have read some rave reviews of this novel, but I do not share these reviewers' high opinion of it.

7 people found this helpful

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A good book just not for me

I can appreciate that this is a very well written book but not one that I loved. The story rambled too much for my liking and I didnt really enjoy the narration.

7 people found this helpful

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Stop screaming!

it is true that while All Our Shimmering Skies lacks the authenticity of Boy Swallows Universe, it is still a good, albeit far-fetched, yarn. My issue is with the audiobook. A tip for Audible producers: just because the author writes "...she screamed", doesn't LITERALLY mean the narrator must scream! I cannot tell you how many times I jumped out of bed while the narrator happily screeched her way through passages. The worst being the seemingly unending exchange between Molly and Greta as they shout out each other's name out in the Deep Country in order to reunite! "MOOOLLLLLYYYY." "GREEEEETTTTAAA"! Just stop it!

6 people found this helpful

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Fantastic.

He’s done it again. An all encompassing world that made me laugh, cry and swear out loud. Which is awkward when it’s an audio book and you’re listening in public.

Very uplifting and joyous. I loved the celebration of the wilderness. Beautiful writing.

This book has rocketed to my number one.

Will recommend again and again.

6 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Trent Dalton did such a wonderful job with Boy Swallows Universe it is heartbreaking to give this book a poor review.
It was epic, but only by dragging out a drab tale of myth and intrigue which did not excite the senses at all The subject of the intrigue was not developed fully and interest in the character was lost early on.
Unfortunately, the narrator also missed the mark, the narrative rhythm was established early on and did not change according to the drama of the story. As it was an epic story, more light and shade were required but not forthcoming.
I'm sorry to give it such a poor rating as Trent Dalton is very talented and I'm sure will produce beautiful works and have a very successful career but I could not finish this book, it dragged on, was boring and the narrator needed more maturity to bring this book to life.

5 people found this helpful

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Awful narration I cannot read on

Dreadful overacting of this narration. The pace is all wrong! Seriously this performance needs deleting. Get a new narrator if you want this tale listened to. The writing felt annoying to... The only that held my attention as I persevered to listen for an hour was the back story of the Japanese sword owner fighter pilot. Will request a credit!

4 people found this helpful

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Passed the sleep timer test

When a book is so good you have to keep hitting 'extend 30min' on the sleep timer - every night!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Suzanne Beacroft
  • 31-01-2021

A little disappointed

This book was given rave reviews but, I must admit, it was too "high pitched" for my liking. Reader was too dramatic and as this went on for most of the book, it was too frantic for me.
s
Story was excellent but I think the telling of it lacked depth.

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  • Donna
  • 02-12-2020

Somewhat disappointing but overall ok

This story was great for the first 2 thirds, very engaging and the characters well drawn. Once it gets to the long walk in the bush part however, I feel it loses its way. Too drawn out, too predictable, too weird. Every scene is a cliché with no original thinking. Boy Swallows Universe kept me guessing until the very end but this one not at all. The narrator's accent is a bit over the top Australian - not sure anyone really speaks like Molly - and the dramatic scenes were very loud. I will read further books from this author as he has the ability to create something exceptional and Australian - but not so much with this one.

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  • Corinne Peters
  • 18-11-2020

Don’t waste your credit

Not even a bit enjoyable despite excellent narration. The story waffles on after the first two chapters and it just seems like random words thrown together. Awful.

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  • elizabeth
  • 16-10-2020

A wonderful narrative of love and hope

I am glad that this novel was different to Boy swallows universe. It makes both novels unique.

This tales is about resilience, love and respect for the land and how the past is woven into the future and the present . It voices the connection we have with family and the need to belong. It is about friendship, hurt and healing under the umbrella of the southern sky using the artful technique imagery and in once of a child.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.