I’ve been so looking forward to reading this book. All Our Shimmering Skies is Aussie author Trent Dalton’s highly anticipated second book and in short, it is terrific. And I am joined by my good pal Julie Collard on this week’s episode to workshop this book that we have both been so looking forward to. In 2020, Jules and I workshopped Boy Swallows Universe on the podcast and became fast Trent Dalton fans! You can listen to that episode here.

Both Jules and I enjoyed this book – it is a true sensory experience. It centres on the story of big hearted motherless Molly Hook, a gravedigger’s daughter, and her quest to not only navigate her toxic father and uncle but get to the bottom of a curse that she believes Aboriginal elder Longcoat Bob placed on her family. It is an odyssey of big love and big danger that is simultaneously about darkness and light. But I assure you, it will leave you feeling inspired and hopeful.

Louie (Alex’s new puppy, Alex and Jules

All Our Shimmering Skies is Trent Dalton’s second novel. His first novel Boy Swallows Universe was an instant hit when it was published in 2018. It won a record amount of awards including the People’s Choice Award at the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and a record four ABIA (Australian Book Industry Awards) including the prestigious Book of the Year Award.

It also broke Nielsen Bookscan records to become Australia’s fastest selling fiction debut ever, with an astonishing 500,000 copies sold in Australia alone. It has also been embraced by readers overseas, with rights sold to 34 English language and translation territories. Screen and theatre adaptations are also underway.

Why Did We Read This Book?

– Jules and I both loved Boy Swallows Universe so were very keen to get our hands on this book too. Who wasn’t?

– It is set in Darwin during WW2 so it also ticks the historical fiction box which is always a bonus.

– I am very keen to read books that feature Indigenous stories and legends. Dalton weaves Indigenous stories so beautifully into this novel.

About The Author

Trent Dalton writes for The Weekend Australian Magazine. A former assistant editor of The Courier-Mail, he has won two Walkley awards, been a four time winner of the News Awards Feature Journalist of the Year Award, and was named Queensland Journalist of the Year at the 2011 Clarion Awards for excellence in Queensland media. He has also written screenplays including Glenn Owen Dodds in 2010 and Home in 2011.

His first book, Boy Swallows Universe, was a semi autobiographical account of his life. In an interview, he describes the book as being ‘fiction but it’s emotionally true.’ Nonetheless, he did have a stepdad who was a career criminal, he was babysat by Slim Halliday – a notorious criminal and he displayed incredible resilience in navigating his way through a complex and sometimes treacherous childhood and early life

The Verdict

Jules and I both thought the book was great. But if we were asked to pick our favourite of Dalton’s books – we would both probably choose Boy Swallows Universe which we both agree would be one of our favourite books ever.

Check out the podcast for our full download about this amazing book. You can listen via your favourite podcast app or by clicking on the link below.

Happy listening

Alex x