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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Skylarking by Kate Mildenhall

A debut novel of exceptional poignancy.

A coming of age story set on an isolated island - with a lighthouse. The lighthouse and its occupants are the chief characters in this story and the others are playing pivotal but important roles. Kate is the light house keeper's daughter. Her best friend is Harriet and they are inseparable. As they grow up however their different characteristics begin to emerge from the time they were very young teenagers and this is what adds depth to the story.

Trying to keep their relationship the way it was when they were just young children is not easy. Each has begun to have secrets not very willing to impart it to the other one and as Harriet matures earlier and begins to have an impact on a man in their community, her parents pack her off to Melbourne. She comes back and the relationship with Kate starts again - albeit on a different level. A tragedy which occurs changes the lives of all the islanders forever. Anything else will be spoilers in this beautiful story.

The essence of the isolation of their life, the closeness of the two girls with no one else their own age, the understanding and compassion of their parents were all beautifully depicted in this very intriguing story of family, love and growing up. I also enjoyed the setting of rural isolated Australia in 1880s.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Legend Press.


  1. I love to read stories set in places I know little about. I don't know much about Australia and I know nothing about Australia during that time frame. I'm glad you enjoyed this book so much.

  2. Good review - gives a really sense of an atmospheric novel!