Winner of the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing, 2013.
Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it's time to move out. Tom is pregnant with Bill's baby.
Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings.
And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow.
The Minnow is a moving and powerful coming-of-age story with a whimsical element that belies the heartbreaking truth of grief and loss. Tom is a character you will never forget.
Diana Sweeney is a university lecturer and fashion model. She was born in Auckland, and moved to Sydney at the age of twelve. She now lives in northern New South Wales. The Minnow is her first novel.
Winner of the publisher's Text Prize, Sweeney s first novel is a powerful touchstone of longing and melancholy. Tom as in Tomboy, as in Holly Thomas is a 15-year-old wordsmith still reeling from the Mother's Day flood that decimated her town and killed numerous residents, including her parents and younger sister. When Tom discovers she is pregnant by Bill, one of her father's friends and her unofficial guardian, she opts for a makeshift life with her best friend Jonah instead, offering her support as he struggles with his own orphanhood and sexuality. With only Jonah and her grandmother to rely on as she prepares for baby Minnow, Tom navigates between reality and waking dreams, where conversations with her dead grandfather, animals from the pet shop, and mermaids abound, and where she can ignore the police's questions about Bill. Town characters are sharply drawn and memorable, particularly the residents of the nursing home Tom visits. Sweeney expertly moves between memories and time periods, creating a patchwork narrative that pulls readers toward answers just below the surface. Ages 12 up.