Inspired by a true story, Skylarking is a novel about friendship, love and loss, one that questions what it is to remember and how tempting it can be to forget.
Kate and Harriet are best friends who are growing up together on an isolated Australian cape in the 1880s. As daughters of the lighthouse keepers, the two girls share everything, until a fisherman, McPhail, arrives in their small community. When Kate witnesses the desire that flares between him and Harriet, she is torn by her feelings of envy and longing. Ultimately, a moment of skylarking in McPhail’s hut changes everything.
Praise for Skylarking
‘Kate Mildenhall’s impressive debut novel takes an historical case and re-imagines it with such sensitivity and insight that we feel this must be how it truly happened.’—Emily Bitto, author of 2015 Stella Prize winner The Strays
‘Skylarking is a strikingly real and deeply moving meditation on adolescent friendship in all its complexities—a heart-wrenching work.’
—Olga Lorenzo, author of The Light on the Water
‘A brave, beautiful and richly textured book that delicately explores the fault lines in love and friendship.’—Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek, Winner ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writer
‘[Mildenhall’s] research of life on a remote cape in a young colony manifests in lovingly drawn descriptions of the natural landscape … the novel’s strength lies with following Kate’s and Harriet’s stumbles and skylarking from childhood to womanhood; and their close, sometimes stifling, friendship.’ —Thuy On, Sydney Morning Herald
‘It is hard to believe that Skylarking is Kate Mildenhall’s debut novel, as her ability to create both character and atmosphere is impressive.’ —Annie Condon, Readings Monthly
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Find out more about the friendship in Skylarking.