The Strays

The Strays

A Novel

Book - 2017
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On her first day at a new school, Lily befriends one of the daughters of infamous avant-garde painter Evan Trentham. He and his wife are trying to escape the stifling conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting other like-minded artists to live and work at their family home. Lily becomes infatuated with this wild, makeshift family and longs to truly be part of it. As the years pass, Lily observes the way the lives of these artists come to reflect the same themes as their art: Faustian bargains and spectacular falls from grace. Yet it's not Evan, but his daughters, who pay the price for his radicalism. An engrossing story of ambitions, sacrifice, and compromised loyalties. -- from Affirm Press.
Publisher: New York : Twelve, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781455537723
Branch Call Number: FIC Bitto E
Characteristics: 240 pages ; 24 cm


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May 31, 2017

I really enjoyed this book about the ups and downs in the friendship of two women who meet at a very young age at school. Interesting contrast between the only-child's typical 1930's family and the other child's bohemian family's lifestyle. Very interesting story and great writing!

Mar 10, 2017

I found this story of the Melbourne bohemian art scene of the 1930s clichéd and stereotyped and it was, in places, overwritten.

Mar 03, 2017

Very good , easy read.
Good plot, and better characters.
A story about belonging , envy and neglect.

Feb 12, 2017

Only child Lily is introduced to charismatic Eva on her first day at a new school, then introduced to Eva’s sisters Beatrice and Heloise at recess. ‘The Strays’ follows these girls for the next six years and looks back on this time from Lily’s adulthood. Eva’s family are the Trentham’s; the father is an artist in Australia’s Modernist movement of the 1930s. He and his wife form a collective with other aspiring artists and as Lily spends more time with them, finds new definitions for ‘home’ and ‘family.’

Amazing debut novel; it’s written like a memoir, but with secrets the author slowly reveals by the end.

stewaroby Aug 19, 2015

Winner of the 2015 Stella Prize for women's writing.

Jun 14, 2015

Evocative of the John and Sunday Reed circle of artists at Heide, this book is a beautifully rendered fictional depiction of lost innocence, girlhood friendship, secrecy and family. The narrative switches confidently between the 1930s and 1980s, the descriptive passages are beautifully rendered, and it has authenticity. A beautifully written debut novel that fully deserves the 2015 Stella Prize.


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