Henry Hamlet's Heart

2022 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments 

Wit and a strong sense of place find firm footholds in Rhiannon Wilde’s debut novel, a coming-of-age queer romance for young adult readers set in Brisbane in 2008. Its events take place before the global financial crisis of that year, before Trump, before Covid, and are therefore seen through a gently nostalgic soft-focus that hits a powerful note with contemporary readers.  

The story of best-friends-becoming-lovers Henry and Len is shot through with heart and hope, told with a fresh voice that provokes laughter but never pulls punches. The book is populated with three-dimensional characters who develop a satisfying level of maturity and self-awareness.