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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1976 it's picking season on an Australian stone-fruit orchard run by Celia, a hardworking woman in her early 40s. Years ago, when her husband was killed as a bystander in an armed robbery, Celia left the city and brought her newborn daughter, Zoe, to this farm for a secure life. Now 16, Zoe is a passionate, intelligent girl, chafing against her mother's protectiveness, yearning to find intensity and a bit of danger.  

Barging into this world as itinerant fruit pickers come a desperate brother and sister from Sydney. The hard-bitten Sheena has kidnapped her wild, ebullient 18-year-old brother, Kieran, and dragged him out west, away from trouble in the city. Kieran and Zoe are drawn to each other the instant they meet, sparking excitement, worry, lust, trouble....

How do we protect people we love? How do we bear watching them go out into the perilous world with no guarantee of safety or happiness? What bargains do people make with darkness in order to survive? From the creator of Offspring and author of Useful, The Whole Bright Year is a gripping, wry and tender novel about how holding on too tightly can cost us what we love.

©2018 Debra Oswald (P)2018 Penguin Random House Australia

What listeners say about The Whole Bright Year

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  • Casey Gilbey
  • 05-14-18

A brilliant listen

The Whole Bright Year is a soft meandering novel with so many lovely moments and a surprising end. Maria does an incredible job narrating the story and voicing the characters to really light your imagination. Highly recommend.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Carolin
  • 04-15-19

Pulsating story, great characters

What a jewel of a story - emotionally poignant, great plot, drama and characters. Oswald has a knack for Aussie vernacular of the 70’s, and showing us every characters perspective. A wild ride.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sue
  • 05-29-19

An enjoyable Australian novel

A most enjoyable story. The characters are well drawn, the story interesting and the ending satisfying and realistic.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-24-19

Really enjoyable story

Took a punt on this and found it very worthwhile. Great characters and an absorbing story

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sandra
  • 04-19-19

Glorious

Loved everything about this book. The finely crafted characters, the setting, the pace and the sheer magic of being held within the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-19-19

Lovely story

I really enjoyed this book, different to what I was expecting which is always nice! The narrator could have used a few more voices, that always makes the book more interesting! But I still enjoyed it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Loretta.
  • 08-16-22

The Whole Bright Year by Debra Oswald 💜

I enjoyed this book it has love compasion and made me laugh a few times ..

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  • J. Millington
  • 06-22-22

Fantastic book and narrator

Entertaining and well written Aussie novel. Great characters 😁 highly recommend. I listened to it while driving in my car 🚘