Penguin just sent me the first copy of Days Like This hot off the press. The cover looks absolutely beautiful – thank you Arielle at Penguin, designer extraordinaire.
Days Like This will be released on August 1, 2011. If you would like to read an excerpt and see details, please go to:
or have a look at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/604016.Alison_Stewart
My new young adult novel, Days Like This has had an interesting journey and it hasn’t been published yet! It was shortlisted for the 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award and picked as one of three finalists in the young adult section. The lovely Amy Ackley won with her novel, Sign Language, but Jane Godwin from Penguin Australia offered me a contract and Penguin will publish Days Like This in September 2011.
You can read about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2010 here:
Days Like This explores the ultimate alienation – when a society implodes right down to the point that parents forget to care for their own offspring. And then, more critically, how those offspring learn to cope. When Lily’s brother Daniel disappears, she and her sister Alice are in danger from the very people they trust. As her critical seventeenth birthday approaches, Lily knows she must leave her parents’ house. Days Like This, which Lily narrates, is set in the walled city of Sydney, a privileged place, yet one devoid of compassion and wiped of its history. Those who have no connections are turned out beyond the walls and the children keep disappearing. In time, all schools close. Young people are confined to their homes with harsh penalties for disobedience and eventually, they become nothing but gruesome commodities. It is not long before those in power begin to desire the impossible – to prolong their lives. Their craving replaces parental instinct. They subject their victims to a cruel experimentation that brings something worse than pain: “Every time the old people with the soft hands and gentle voices came to drain them, the young people aged.” With difficulty because she is a valuable asset, Lily manages to escape but where will she go and what is beyond those walls? Can she find Daniel and is it safe to leave her younger sister behind with the parents who are no longer parents? Days Like This challenges us to examine what we value. Do we value a sense of historic and literal place, the natural environment and the dignity of the individual or do we instead seek a world that satisfies us only materially?This a novel of hope and redemption, aimed at the older end of the young adult market. Despite the confronting disintegration of a familiar world, Days Like This insists that there is room for a compassionate society that values decency and integrity. Lily’s search will require courage, determination, and a profound belief in peoples’ essential humanity.