If you’re looking for a new and unique book to read, this artist’s debut novel is the one. It’s a novel you most likely have never seen anything like it. It follows Lily, a young girl, who befriends Helena Trentham’s daughter, Eva. Helena leads a very bohemian lifestyle and as Lily becomes introduce to the family, she becomes curious and their erratic way of life. This novel is a type of coming of age for Eva and Lily as they watch Helena’s family and her lifestyle. Read on to learn more about this book.
- The wife of an avant-garde painter and the mother of three daughters living in 1930s Melbourne, Helena has therefore constructed a “big, noisy, quicksilver” community of artists, all working and living together in a ramshackle house.
- The narrator of “The Strays” is Lily, 8 years old at the beginning of the novel, who meets Helena’s middle daughter, Eva, at school and becomes hypnotized by her new friend’s strange and exciting household.
- “The Strays” is inspired in part by the Heide Circle, a group of Australian abstract artists led by John and Sunday Reed. But Bitto (who is herself from Melbourne) concentrates less on recreating versions of these real-life figures than she does on conjuring the invented Trentham children.
““The Strays” is inspired in part by the Heide Circle, a group of Australian abstract artists led by John and Sunday Reed.”