Shortlist year: 
2010
Shortlist category: 
Fiction
Published by: 
Penguin Random House

About the book

Book cover- The Book of Emmett by Deborah Forster

A stunning first novel from a Melbourne author. The story of the Brown family will wrench at your heart and make you hug those you love ever tighter.

Emmett Brown is as dark as Heathcliff, and as unpredictable. Sometimes he's an inspiration, but not often. He's a man of booze and obsessions: one of them is his 'System', an attempt to bend the laws of probability. But when the lottery numbers and horses fail him, so do love and reason, and he becomes an ogre to his wife and children. For the innocents – Louisa, Rob, Peter, Daniel and Jessie – the bonds formed hiding in hedges at the end of the street, waiting for the maelstroms to pass, are complex and unbreakable.

Over the years, the consequences of Emmett's rages shape both their spirits and psyches, but as he lies dying they discover that love – however imperfect – is the best defence against pain.

The Book of Emmett is a novel about hope and love and surviving.