2022 - Highly commended
As a teenager in the 1970s, Sarah is forced to leave her home in upstate New York to accompany a missionary to Idaho. When she falls pregnant, she is dispatched to relatives in Sydney, who place her in a home for unmarried mothers. Years later her daughter, Bet, pieces together her mother’s life story, hoping to understand her better. As she learns more about Sarah’s past, Bet struggles to come to terms with her own history and identity, yet is determined to make peace with Sarah’s choices before it’s too late.
Lucy Neave’s moving and deeply personal second novel, Believe in Me, explores the relationships between mothers and their children across three generations of one family. The book questions what we can ever truly know of our parents’ early lives, even as their experiences weave ineffably into our identities and destinies.