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Publisher's Summary

Marlowe and Harper share a bond deeper than most sisters, shaped by the loss of their mother in childhood.

For Harper, living with what she calls the Up syndrome and gifted with an endless capacity for wonder, Marlowe and she are connected by an invisible thread, like the hum that connects all things. For Marlowe, they are bound by her fierce determination to keep Harper, born with a congenital heart disorder, alive. Now 25, Marlowe is living her own life abroad, secure in the knowledge Harper’s happiness is complete, having found love. Then she receives a devastating call that Harper’s heart is failing. She needs a heart transplant but is denied one by the medical establishment. Marlowe rushes to Hong Kong to be by Harper’s side and has to answer the question - what lengths would you go to save your sister?

©2021 Hannah Bent (P)2021 W. F. Howes Ltd and Ultimo Press

Critic Reviews

"When literature is alive it hums, and rattles and warms and hurts and heals. Hannah Bent and her wondrous Harper and Marlowe have changed the way I’ve been going about my days. What a gift." (Trent Dalton, author of Boy Swallows Universe and All Our Shimmering Skies)

What listeners say about When Things Are Alive They Hum

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Lovely Story

A fabulous story of two very different lives sharing one life. Such great perspectives and cultural insights.

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Moving and Memorable

This beautifully crafted novel switches perspectives between two sisters - Marlowe and Harper - and captures the depths of their relationship as Harper, who was born with "up"-syndrome, deals with a life-threatening illness. The whole novel feels "true", and whilst many of the events are sad, the story is also uplifting. The narrator does a wonderful of capturing their voices, particularly Harper's, whose innocent way of seeing the world and the people around her is also enlightening. I loved every minute of this story and have already bought a copy of the print version as a gift for a friend.

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.