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How It Feels to Float

2020 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

Told in beautiful prose and with unflinching honesty, How It Feels to Float is a profound exploration of mental health, told through the life of one girl living through the messy experiences of adolescence. This is a story that is rich, heartfelt and confronting. Biz’s fond memories of her father are heartbreaking in their innocence, offering a stark contrast to the aimlessness and loneliness of her current life.

Helena Fox has crafted a novel that tackles big themes with love and sensitivity, writing a character in the throes of loss, grief and confusion who is trying to find her place in the world. The book evokes the feeling of gasping for air as the world closes in around you, while also offering a real sense of hope that endures long after the reader turns the last page.