- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Isabelle of the Moon & Stars
Ever since the incident, Isabelle has been stuck in a dead-end job, trying desperately to keep it together and ward off ‘The Black Place’.
Her best friend Evan is her safe haven. They laugh at each other’s jokes, share the same interests and take the piss out of each other with the ruthless efficiency of long acquaintance. Sex isn’t an issue because Evan has made a bargain with God to keep it in his pants and Isabelle is still recovering from being deserted by her fiancé Karl. Then just as Evan reconsiders his vow, Isabelle contrives a bizarre passion for her boss, Jack.
Everything implodes one suffocatingly hot Australia Day. Escaping the resulting chaos, Isabelle flees to Prague where she must finally confront her fears.
A provocative and funny novel about the dark places, both personal and historical, from one of Australia’s brightest new voices.
Shortlisted - 2015 Most Underrated Book Award
Praise for Isabelle of the Moon and Stars:
S.A. Jones writes with great sensitivity about love's assymetrical push and pull as well as her protagonist's emotional fragility: her missteps along the way to mental and physical buoyancy.THUY ON, SUNDAY AGE
A stunning exploration of the dark places within us, Isabelle of the Moon & Stars caught me by surprise; the beautiful prose reeled me in and let me go hours later, satisfied and thoughtful ... Isabelle’s story resounds with authenticity. At times it’s raw and honest; at others it’s confronting, especially where pre-existing stigmas about mental illness are challenged – as they should.WRITE NOTE REVIEWS
[A] brave and beautifully-written investigation of depression, anxiety, desire, morality and intimacy ... Jones is refreshingly sympathetic yet unflinching in her examination of the fault lines of desire, insecurity and weakness [and] shirks the strictures of the Madonna/whore dichotomy, imbuing Isabelle with great complexity.VERONICA SULLIVAN, KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Isabelle of the Moon and Stars is...strengthened by its handling of Isabelle’s mental and moral issues, and its historical and geographical detail. There are some memorable minor characters, and the author’s use of language is a highlight. Containing both popular and literary elements, this book should have wide appeal.BOOKS+PUBLISHING
There are great characters here. There is a great story. [Sarah] writes sexual attraction extremely well – no mean feat – she handles mental states such as depression and panic attacks extremely well – this is a rare feat. She writes with humour – I laughed aloud at a scene when Isabelle is with the boss by his pool, and you will too. And most particularly, she employs her lovely intelligence to deepen our understanding of Isabelle and all the others, as well as the world they inhabit.ANDREA GOLDSMITH, AUTHOR
This is a beautifully written exploration of contemporary life and a mind in trouble.KERRYN GOLDSWORTHY, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Isabelle of the Moon and Stars was a joyous book to read. The prose was beautiful, heartfelt and kept a steady pace. I was immediately drawn into Isabelle’s life from the first delightfully written paragraph right through to the last. It is an immensely satisfying novel from a very talented Australian author, and I highly recommend you put it on your reading list for 2015.SONJA'S BOOKSHELF