‘Equal parts harrowing coming of age story, and paean to the joys of a misspent youth, Everything in its Right Place is a heartbreaking, lyrical love letter to overcoming trauma, and finding oneself in the bohemian heart of Melbourne.’Liam Pieper, author of The Feel-Good Hit of the Year and Sweetness and Light
Coburg, Melbourne. Ford McCullen is growing up with his mother Deidre and his Pop and Noonie in ‘The Compound’, a pair of units in the shadow of Pentridge prison. His father, Robert, has left them to live in the bush with his new male partner. Nobody is coping.
When Ford’s paternal grandmother Queenie’s good fortune allows him to attend a prestigious Catholic private school on the other side of the river and to learn the violin, Ford finds himself balancing separate identities. At school he sees himself being moulded into an image that is not his own, something at odds with the rough and tumble of his beloved north.
Crumbling under the weight of his family’s expectations and realising that he just might be the only adult amongst them, Ford embarks on a quest for meaning while navigating the uncomfortable realities of his father’s life, his mother’s ongoing crisis, and the pillars of football and religion, delving ever deeper into a fraught search for the source of the ‘McCullen curse’.
Everything in its Right Place tackles themes of class, love and sexuality with humour, truth and grit. It is a story of the legacies and dilemmas that families bring, of how we all must find our own way, astonishingly told.
‘Powerful and urgent. Crackling with energy and wit, Everything in its Right Place is a dark joyride of a read, its danger and beauty announcing a roaring new talent.’Roger Averill, author of Relatively Famous and Keeping Faith
Tobias McCorkell explains how returning to the the novels of the past helped him find a universality in pain and work his way through depression and anxiety
For the past two years, I’ve suffered from crying jags. As anyone who has ever wept in public knows, this is hugely embarrassing. As a man, this is not only hugely embarrassing, but emasculating as well, for it breaks one of the principle male precepts: real men don’t cry.
‘Vernay’s outsider’s perspective sets him apart from those local critics who have more skin in the game, both personally and professionally, and offers something of an antidote to a cultural cringe that gives primacy to European and American literature … [A] comprehensive, illustrative and engaging entry point to Australian fiction.’