2020 - Shortlisted
Understated and perfectly pitched, The Little Wave tells the story of three very different children who are brought together when a city school invites a country school for a beach visit. As its title obliquely suggests, the novel examines aspects of our lives that might seem insignificant to the casual observer but in fact point to more seismic shifts beneath the surface; shifts caused, for example, by grief, loss, and destructive relationships.
One of Harry’s key strengths is her capturing of the authentic voices of her characters. She uses gentle humour and the Australian vernacular to great effect. The novel’s free verse form showcase its lyrical prose and make its important themes accessible to the intended readership. This is a moving and life-affirming work that teaches us recovery is possible even in the wake of significant knocks, and that small kindnesses can have a huge impact.