The Forrests, By Emily Perkins


At the end of the 1960s, Frank and Lee Forrest move to Auckland from New York with their four children: Evelyn, Dot, Ruth and Michael.

The girls are united by hatred of their father and in their desire for Michael's best friend, Daniel. Perkins's characters do nothing more than fall in love, divorce and die, but the essence of every stage is captured with heady intensity.

As this physical novel hones in on Dot's story, we see how fleeting life is: "Adulthood was like this – your voice calm, your face normal, while inside, turmoil, your heart still seven, or twelve, or fifteen."