Nominated by:

Auckland Libraries, New Zealand

Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand

Timaru District Libraries, New Zealand

Wellington City Libraries, New Zealand

Publisher of nominated edition:

Bloomsbury Publishing, UK

Bloomsbury, USA

The Forrests

Emily Perkins      

2014 Longlist

Dorothy Forrest is immersed in the sensory world around her; she lives in the flickering moment. From the age of seven, when her odd, disenfranchised family moves from New York City to the wide skies of Auckland, to the very end of her life, this is her great gift and possible misfortune.
Through the wilderness of a commune, to falling in love, to early marriage and motherhood, from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time. Her family looms and recedes; revelations come to light; death changes everything, but somehow life remains as potent as it ever was, and the joy in just being won’t let her go.
In a narrative that shifts and moves, growing as wild as the characters, The Forrests is an extraordinary literary achievement. A novel that sings with colour and memory, it speaks of family and time, dysfunction, ageing and loneliness, about heat, youth, and how life can change if ‘you’re lucky enough to be around for it’.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Emily Perkins was born in 1970. She is the author of Not Her Real Name, a collection of short stories which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the novels Leave Before You Go, The New Girl, Novel About My Wife, winner of the Believer Award and, most recently, the hugely acclaimed The Forrests which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013. Emily Perkins lives in New Zealand.

Librarians’ Comments

We liked the way The Forrests celebrates ordinary life – the intense feelings that can be part of anyones life if they know the importance of living every moment to the fullest. The superb prose reflects and refines this spirit.

Exquisitly written, yet unflinchingly honest about life, family and what makes us human.

An engrossing saga of human experience, made up of episodes from one family’s life – with all its changing relationships and dramas. Very well written, The Forrests takes ordinary life and transforms it into interesting and totally addictive reading.

This is the extraordinary story of one woman’s life, the family, friends, places, things and events that touch and orbit around her years. Brilliantly constructed and written with a delicate, dreamlike touch by a gifted writer.

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