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July 03 , 2010

Keeping Faith


‘Subtle and finely crafted. A novel of intellectual and emotional intensity.’ ~ Steven Carroll, author of The Time We Have Taken

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In Keeping Faith the innocence and certainties of childhood are delicately tested against the realities of adult life.

Josh and Gracie grow up in a working class world centred on the values of faith and family. Both cherish their father, a lay preacher, and their mother, but for Josh the complex secrets, doubts and subtleties of the world do not allow for certainty. In adulthood he works as a labour ward attendant, his younger sister Gracie as a nurse on a remote mission station in Papua New Guinea. While Josh’s conviction falters, the unfailing faith of his sister leads to tragic consequences.

As events move between 1975 and 1994, between a family drama in outer suburban Melbourne and a tribal rebellion in Melanesia, faith and doubt become entwined.

In the spirit of the work of Tim Winton, Keeping Faith is a remarkable novel about the beauty and disappointments of childhood, family and belief, about losing faith and finding love.


Roger Averill lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he works as a freelance researcher, editor and writer. His travel memoir Boy He Cry: An Island Odyssey was published by Transit Lounge in 2009, and went into a second print run, audio book format and was read by the author on Radio National’s First Person in February 2010. He is currently working on biographies of Werner Pelz and Randolph Stow.

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