Susan Duncan: Sleepless in Stringybark Bay

Susan-Duncan-Sleepless-in-Stringybark-BayA page-turning, mysterious, funny and delightful story by the bestselling author of Salvation Creek, The Briny Café and Gone Fishing.

When five couples pool their resources to live in a house located where a turquoise lagoon meets the sea, the quirky little offshore community of Cook’s Basin is shocked.

How will ten people – one in a wheelchair and one with a hauntingly familiar face – survive where the only way in or out is by boat?

When a member of the household is found floating face down in the bay, the police insist the death was accidental but the bizarre circumstances have locals scratching their heads.

Former journalist turned café owner Kate Jackson is curious to discover why a group of retirees in their late seventies would choose such an isolated location. Then a throw-away line in an old magazine story leads to shocking revelations.

Wrapped in the colourful culture of a boat-access-only community, Sleepless in Stringybark Bay celebrates having a go at any age, revels in the magic of the bush and explores the fragility of relationships, old and young.

Susan Duncan spent her childhood in country Victoria where her father was supply officer for the Bonegilla Migrant Camp. When she was nine years old, her family moved to Melton, near Melbourne, to run a country pub where a rousing sing-along around the piano on a Saturday night was a lot of fun.

After completing her secondary education at Clyde, Woodend, a girls’ boarding school, she took up a cadetship on the Melbourne Sun which led to a 25 year career spanning radio, newspapers and magazines. Susan quit journalism after her brother and husband died within three days of each other and eventually wrote the best-selling memoir, Salvation Creek, about grief and loss and finding a place to belong.

Later branching into fiction, the underlying themes of her writing remained constant – good communities create a sense of belonging and lead to contentment. She now alternates between boats on Pittwater and raising cattle at Wherrol Flat with her second husband, Bob, writing occasionally for The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Sleepless in Stringybark Bay is published by Allen & Unwin and is available from all leading booksellers including QBD Books.

Image: Sleepless in Stringybark Bay – courtesy of Allen & Unwin