Shortlist year: 
2008
Shortlist category: 
Fiction
Published by: 
Penguin Random House

About the book

Book cover- Sorry by Gail Jones

This is a story that can only be told in a whisper . . .

In the remote outback of Western Australia during the Second World War, English anthropologist Nicholas Keene and his wife, Stella, raise a lonely child, Perdita. Her upbringing is far from ordinary: in a shack in the wilderness, with a distant father burying himself in books and an unstable mother whose knowledge of Shakespeare forms the backbone of the girl's limited education.

Emotionally adrift, Perdita becomes friends with a deaf and mute boy, Billy, and an Aboriginal girl, Mary. Perdita and Mary come to call one another sister and to share a very special bond. They are content with life in this remote corner of the globe, until a terrible event lays waste to their lives.

Through this exquisite story of Perdita's troubled childhood, Gail Jones explores the values of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice with a brilliance that has already earned her numerous accolades for her previous novels, Dreams of Speaking and Sixty Lights.