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Publisher's Summary

The international best-selling author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton returns with a glorious 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, is looking to the skies and running for her life. Inside a duffel bag she carries a stone heart, alongside a map to lead her to Longcoat Bob, the deep-country sorcerer who she believes 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. The treasure lies before them, but close behind them trails the dark. And above them, always, are the shimmering skies.

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

"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)

"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

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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.

20 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.

16 people found this helpful

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Magic

The sky is the colour of 2020. The sky is the colour of Ruby Rees’s warm, melodious voice - a voice which perfectly brings Trent Dalton’s brilliant new book to life. What a wild ride this story is! It jumps to life, it’s vivid, vibrant, funny, moving, thrilling. Ruby Rees is wonderfully suited to reading Dalton’s crawling, climbing, clever narrative voice (like the red bull ant crawling over an epitaph). She brings to life young Molly, the grave digger’s daughter, with ease and familiarity. Love this novel!

13 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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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.

7 people found this helpful

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All Our Shimmering Skies - book of the year!

All Our Shimmering Skies is a brilliant novel and my reading experience was heightened by listening to it on audio!

7 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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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.

6 people found this helpful

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Stunning read!

I was really looking forward to this read after Boy Swallows Universe and, dare I say, that this is even better? Such an imaginative read with an epic journey of a young girl through an unforgiving wilderness. The narrator helps give it that Aussie feel. I highly recommend everyone pick this one up!

5 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.