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From the bestselling author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this perfectly crafted novel about families, relationships and the true nature of belonging.

'You look the type to break your father’s heart.'
'Yeah, but he broke mine first.’

When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie’s mother. Martha is struggling to fulfil Seb’s dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.

As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie’s life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he’s now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own . . .

An unforgettable story about losing love and finding love; about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging, from one of our most acclaimed writers.


I can’t remember when I’ve loved a book so much. It really touched my heart.

Amanda Keller

Quite simply, I think Marchetta is one of the best storytellers we have in Australia.

Bronte Coates, Readings

With The Place on Dalhousie, Marchetta proves she is one of our best writers of contemporary human drama . . . Marchetta’s work radiates hope . . . In a world that can feel dark and cynical, this beautiful book is the perfect antidote.

Jackie Tang, Readings

One of my favourite books of the year . . . Hard to put down, impossible to forget, The Place on Dalhousie is one of those precious books you don’t want to end.

Simon McDonald, https://writtenbysime.com/

Funny, sad and wonderful. A tale full of heart that is as much about what separates us as what draws us together. Storytelling at its best and purest, casually, breezily told, yet wielding immense emotional power – I loved it . . . It will fill my heart forever.

Better Reading

This is wonderful storytelling – full of humour, tenderness and honesty.

Debra Oswald

I adored this wonderful, big-hearted book . . . It’s so absolutely flawless you almost want to applaud!

Sarah McDuling, https://www.booktopia.com.au/blog/2019/03/05/review-place-on-dalhousie-melina-marchetta/

Melina Marchetta writes masterfully about messy relationships, whether they are familial or romantic, and her new novel is no exception . . . The Place on Dalhousie is a big-hearted book that addresses grief, new motherhood and finding and defining your own family [that] is bound to be loved . . .

Ellen Cregan, Books and Publishing

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    April 2, 2019


    288 pages

    RRP $32.99

    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


    April 2, 2019

    Penguin eBooks

    288 pages

    Online retailers

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


    April 2, 2019

    Penguin Random House Australia Audio

    RRP $26.99

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Audible AU
    • Google Play Audio AU
    • Kobo Audiobook


Chapter One

It’s rained for forty days and forty nights, so when a guy who looks like Jesus in orange SES overalls comes to stand next to her, Rosie thinks it’s all a bit biblical.

Up on the meat-raffle stage, the pot-bellied chief of emergency services is trying to get a word in. He’s just mentioned the words ‘forced evacuation’ and the whole place is in an uproar. Some old bloke yells out that the Dawson threatens to flood every year and it’s nothing to get their knickers in a twist about. The mayor is pushing for evacuation.

‘Kev and his people aren’t putting their lives at risk for you stubborn mongrels,’ he’s shouting over everyone. ‘Move out of the low-lying areas now or you’ll be cut off for at least a week.’

Rosie feels SES Jesus’s stare and she makes eye contact. He’s a bit older than her, but not that much. Mid-twenties, maybe. Or younger, but he seems like he’s been around.

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