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“For those who lived through the hell of Black Saturday. And for those who didn’t.”
‘Tiny had taught him so much, not by telling or talking, but by showing and doing. He’d taught him many little things about how you live your life and how you treat others. And all those little things went together to make something huge.’
With the help of Tiny Cobb – a rough, tough biker with a gentle and generous nature – Luke and his mother have at last found a haven from their troubles, in the small mountain town of Edenville. It’s a strong, tightly-knit community where people look after each other. But when the town is engulfed by a raging bushfire, Luke discovers how strong a community really can be. He also discovers some inner strengths of his own.
Where There’s Smoke is dedicated to the victims of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, and in particular the nightmare of Black Saturday, February 7th. It is set around a central group of characters. There’s young Luke and his single mother, Nina, trying to carve a new life in the small town of Edenville. Luke is far from an easy kid, always getting into fights. His two best friends couldn’t differ more from each other; Sarah is terribly proper, while Tiny (a huge tattoo-covered biker) is anything but.
And then there’s a cast of local identities. Like old Mrs Crawley who lives in a vast mansion with a host of bush creatures, and makes the best Anzac bikkies on the planet. Or Mr Vaughan, the Birdman. Or Crazy Col, the sculptor of fantastical figures from the bush. And there are others.
This is tale about what happens when individuals and their community are faced by Nature at its most destructive. “What I found so enduring were the stories of human spirit, courage and camaraderie that emerged from the Victorian fires. I wanted to capture some of that in this novel.”
Where There’s Smoke was officially launched in Victoria on April 14th, 2010, in conjunction with the Country Fire Authority. Every copy of the book sold benefits the CFA.
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