Between a Wolf and a Dog

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UPC: 9781925321111
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Author: Georgia Blain
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  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribe US; US edition edition (October 10, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1925321118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1925321111
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches

Outside, the rain continues unceasing; silver sheets sluicing down, the trees and shrubs soaking and bedraggled, the earth sodden, puddles overflowing, torrents coursing onwards, as the darkness slowly softens with the dawn.

Ester is a family therapist with an appointment book that catalogs the anxieties of the middle class: loneliness, relationships, death. She spends her days helping others find happiness, but her own family relationships are tense and frayed. Estranged from both her sister, April, and her ex-husband, Lawrence, Ester wants to fall in love again. Meanwhile, April is struggling through her own directionless life; Lawrence’s reckless past decisions are catching up with him; and Ester and April's mother, Hilary, is about to make a choice that will profoundly affect them all.

Taking place largely over one rainy day in Sydney, and rendered with the evocative and powerful prose Blain is known for, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a celebration of the best in all of us ― our capacity to live in the face of ordinary sorrows, and to draw strength from the transformative power of art. Ultimately, it is a joyous tribute to the beauty of being alive.




‘A heartbreaking, beautiful novel.’

(Toni Jordan The Age ‘Best Books of 2016’)

‘[A]n elegant novel, written in lucent and, at times, luminous prose. It is a work of delicately detailed emotion and beautiful balance, and it is so well paced that its narrative is utterly compelling. It is a remarkable portrayal of family relationships, and the complex and often competing desires and sensitivities that drive them, but it is mostly a book about love and forgiveness, and holding on to our good fortune and our loved ones, even and especially in the face of loss. It is heartfelt and resonant, and a remarkable novel that lingers long after its final page.’

(Fiona Wright Weekend Australian)

‘Blain writes enchantingly about the interstices of life, the places where morality and meaningfulness blur, and characters try to justify their actions or deal with their emotions … lyrical and lucid.’

(Herald Sun)

‘Like all her novels, Between a Wolf and a Dog explores the often unarticulated complexities of the intersection of the personal and the political with exquisite grace and intelligence.’

(James Bradley Australian Book Review ‘Best Books of 2016’)

‘Picking a favourite Georgia Blain novel is like picking a favourite child … Blain intelligently asks the big questions ― about mortality, grief, forgiveness and how hard it can sometimes be to love those we’re supposed to.’

(North and South)

‘Heartfelt, wise, and emotionally intelligent, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a beautifully tender exploration of the complications of family love, self-knowledge, and the struggle for forgiveness.’

(Gail Jones, author of A Guide to Berlin)

‘What a marvellously clear eye Georgia Blain has for the ways in which we love and harm one another. Whether she is observing a “coconut-ice” grevillea or meditating on everyday consolations and sorrows, Blain is a quietly profound writer and this is a remarkable book.’

(Michelle De Kretser, author of Questions of Travel)

‘[An] elegant, intelligent and affecting novel from a writer at the height of her powers.’

(The Saturday Paper)

‘Blain is a writer of such lucidity and strength that her characters speak, undeniably, for themselves … What makes it possible to contain tragedy in words, so that the reader enters into the experience and passes through it, cleansed? The Greek playwrights had their own answers to this question; but the question, I suspect, is far older than their version of it. Each generation of authors must find the right words for writing about death. Part of the reason Between a Wolf and a Dog succeeds so well is that everything in the novel is heartfelt without being in the least sentimental.’

(Dorothy Johnston Sydney Morning Herald)

‘Captures the elusive moment when it's time to forgive, when it's time to stop fighting.’

(Australian Women's Weekly)


About the Author


Georgia Blain published novels for adults and young adults, essays, short stories, and a memoir. Her first novel was the bestselling Closed for Winter, which was made into a feature film. Her books have been shortlisted for numerous awards including the NSW, Victorian, and SA Premiers' Literary Awards, the ALS Gold Medal, the Stella Prize, and the Nita B. Kibble Award for her memoir Births Deaths Marriages. Georgia's works include The Secret Lives of MenToo Close to Home, and the YA novel Darkwater. In 2016, Georgia published Between a Wolf and a Dog and the YA novel Special (Penguin Random House Australia). Between a Wolf and a Dog was shortlisted for the 2017 Stella Prize, and was awarded the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and the 2016 Queensland Literary Award for Fiction. Georgia passed away in December 2016.