No Picnic

 The relationships between daughters and their mothers provide fascinating, fertile ground for exploration. Mothers in books are sitting ducks, really, and these three new Young Adult books take aim. One mother is a cavalier, emotionally blackmailing bank robber; another is adored, but nosy and old-fashioned; while the third, obsessed with organic food, is diagnosed with cancer. In All This Could End (Text, $19.99 pb, 288 pp, 9781921758447), Steph Bowe challenges the controlling mother trope by portraying one who robs banks. Antonella Preto treads the complex terrain between an Italian migrant mother and her first-generation Australian daughter in The Mimosa Tree (Fremantle Press, $19.99 pb, 376 pp, 9781922089199), while the prospect of losing one’s mother encourages sweet soul-searching in Aimee Said’s new novel Freia Lockhart’s Summer of Awful (Walker Books, $16.95 pb, 288 pp, 9781921977800).If being a mother is tough, being a daughter is no picnic.

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Laura Elvery

Laura Elvery

Laura Elvery is a PhD candidate and tutor at Queensland University of Technology. She has won the Josephine Ulrick Literature Award, and twice been shortlisted for the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers. Laura was joint winner of the QUT Postgraduate Creative Writing Prize, and was shortlisted for the Overland NUW Fair Australia Prize. Her novel was selected for the 2013 QWC/Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program.

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