The Choke by Sofie Laguna
I found this book completely absorbing and utterly heartbreaking in equal measures. Sofie Laguna has captured the isolation and small town claustrophobia of 10 year old Justine so beautifully. Her world is tinged with the ever present threat of male violence,poverty and neglect and yet she learns to survive despite this. The Choke refers to the banks of the Murray River where the river runs narrow. Jo
Abandoned by her mother and seldom visited by her unpredictable, violent father, 10-year-old Justine is raised by her grandfather, Pop - a man tormented by visions of war.
Through years of poverty and neglect, Justine finds solace in the staggering natural beauty of the nearby Murray River. But when outside threats infiltrate even this sanctuary, who is there to protect her from danger?
Exposed to a lethal world, Justine must navigate the final years of her precarious childhood alone. She must find ways to endure, she must run when she has to, and, ultimately, she must fight back.
Sofie Laguna, winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award for The Eye of the Sheep, once again shows she is a writer of rare empathy, originality and blazing talent.
Longlisted for The 2018 Stella Prize
Short-listed for Victorian Premier's Literary Awards - Fiction 2018 (Australia)
Indie Book Awards - Winner Fiction 2018 (Australia)
Shortlisted for the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2018
Sofie Laguna's second novel for adults, The Eye of the Sheep-shortlisted for the Stella Prize-won the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award. It has been optioned for both film and theatre. Her first novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, published throughout Europe, the US and the UK, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award. Screen rights have been optioned and she has completed the screenplay. Sofie's many books for young people have been published in the US, the UK and in translation throughout Europe and Asia. She has been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Award, and her books have been named Honour Books and Notable Books by the Children's Book Council of Australia. Sofie lives in Melbourne with her husband, illustrator Marc McBride, and their two young sons.