Metal Fish Falling Snow, by Cath Moore
This is a beautifully articulated #loveozya own voices story about grief, family and identity.
There are so many reasons why I love this book. The writing is breathtaking - so lyrical and raw and full of astonishing insight.
The stand-out for me is the unique voice of the protagonist, 14-year-old Dylan. Her voice is captivating, it sparkles with humour and energy, while at the same time resonating with something lost.
Dylan's mother has died, and Dylan is grieving. Her mother's boyfriend Pat is taking her on a road trip across the Australian outback - but what Dylan doesn't initially realise is that Pat is driving her towards the family she has never known.
As they drive, Dylan finds herself beginning to bond with Pat - despite him being often uncommunicative and somewhat gruff. She sees the kindness in him, which manages to shine through the sadness. But what will happen when they arrive at the doorstep of a family Dylan has no connection with and no desire to get to know?
I love that Dylan has the capacity to see into other people's memories - these scenes are full of such heartbreaking insight, reminding us that we all carry our own small sadnesses inside us. I also love Dylan's stories and observations, which are full of such vivid and often poignant detail.
There is much to reflect on while reading this book, around issues of racism, identity, grief, belonging and Australian culture. Both tough and fragile, this is a read that you won't forget.
This book has been shortlisted for many literary awards, including the 2021 Stella Prize and the 2021 CBCA Notable Books for Older Readers. It was the winner of the 2021 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards for YA fiction.
Published by Text publishing.