Tree Palace is a affectionate portrait of a family living on the edge of society.
Shane, Moira and Midge, along with young Zara and Rory, are trants - itinerants roaming the plains north-west of Melbourne in search of disused houses to sleep in, or to strip of heritage fittings when funds are low. When they find their Tree Palace outside Barleyville, things are looking up. At last, a place in which to settle down.
But Zara, fifteen, is pregnant and doesn't want a child. She'd rather a normal life with town boys, not trant life with a baby. Moira decides to step in: she'll look after her grandchild. Then Shane finds himself in trouble with the local cops.
Warmly told and witty, Craig Sherborne's second novel is a revelation, an affecting story of family and rural life.
Craig Sherborne's memoir Hoi Polloi (2005) was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's and Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. The follow-up, Muck (2007), won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Non-fiction. Craig's first novel, The Amateur Science of Love, won the Melbourne Prize for Literature's Best Writing Award, and was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award and a NSW Premier's Literary Award. Craig has also written two volumes of poetry, Bullion (1995) and Necessary Evil (2005), and a verse drama, Look at Everything Twice for Me (1999). His writing has appeared in most of Australia's literary journals and anthologies. He lives in Melbourne.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We devoured this warm and often witty Australian novel about love and family. Award-winning novelist, poet and journalist Craig Sherborne returns to the theme of family relationships in rural settings, introducing us to Moira and her family—itinerants living just beyond the edge of society. The clan get by on odd jobs, welfare, sheer ingenuity and selling fixtures stolen from abandoned farms, but Moira’s determined to keep her family together and make sure her baby grandson knows he’s loved. Sherborne’s portrait of a down-at-heel country town is utterly convincing, and his complicated characters feel so real, we’re sure we’ve passed them in the street.