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Evocative and earthy . . . from a powerful new Australian voice

Evocative and earthy . . . from a powerful new Australian voice.

Twelve-year-old Cecilia Maria was named after saints and martyrs to give her something to live up to. Over my dead body, she vows.

In the blinding heat of 1970s Queensland, she battles six brothers on her side of the fence, and the despised Kapernicky girls, lurking on the other side of the barbed wire. Secrets are buried deep, only to surface decades later when Cecilia drags her own reluctant teenagers back home to dance on a grave and track down some ghosts.

Warm but tough-minded, Dust glitters with a rare and subtle wit, illuminating the shadows that hang over from childhood and finding beauty in unexpected places.


Powerful, evocative and warm.


Astonishing and fascinating . . . Christine Bongers has created a gripping and intriguing story which is difficult to put down and even more difficult to forget.

Townsville Bulletin

In language as stark as the landscape of drought, Bongers paints an utterly convincing picture of bullying and ostracism, the ugly anguish of the victim and the even uglier triumph of the smug majority . . . As well as the story and the issues it raises there is Bongers' delightful use of language, including some entertaining and very convincing dialogue.


The dialogue is tight, the characters are realistic, the tone is believable.

Bookseller + Publisher

Young adults will appreciate its racy humour, its fluid narrative, and its page-turning suspense. Above all, they will respond to its depiction of a world that, though removed from the present by more than 30 years, nevertheless will resound forcefully with their own experience of adolescence. Older adults will appreciate the novel for its faithful recreation of the recent past, and its hard-nosed depiction of life in rural Queensland.


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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 1, 2009

    Woolshed Press

    240 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    July 1, 2011

    Random House Australia

    242 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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