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Book Club

December Book Club: Lola in The Mirror

A book is the ultimate way to escape, and this month for our Book Club we are escaping into Lola in The Mirror, by much loved local best-selling Author Trent Dalton.

The two-time Walkley Award-winning journalist Trent Dalton’s latest novel Lola in The Mirror paints a moving, acerbic, intense, and tragic yet ultimately hopeful story, reflecting on the past, the present and possible futures.

Dalton has drawn upon not only the tales he has encountered as a social affairs journalist shared with him by the people he has met, but also on his own life experience to create a moving novel of life on the street that is filled with character, black humour, gritty encounters and violence.

Far from a tale of hopelessness though, Dalton navigates a landscape of homelessness that is at once violent yet also whimsical and hopeful. “Those … people I met in the street also spoke of community, hope and love, and that’s why I wrote this book,” said Dalton.

A dark yet optimistic tale, Lola in The Mirror challenges us to see the unseen, not shying away from the very real economic reality and homelessness issue confronting many.  Dalton looks firmly at the challenge through a filter of fiction with humour and violence cohabiting in a Toyota HiAce by the Brisbane River.

Lola in The Mirror ventures to a homeless drop-in centre that offers those who sleep rough food, advice and comfort, based loosely on Fortitude Valley’s 3rd Space. From November 2023 to the end of January 2024, for every day a guest stays with us, The Calile will donate $5 directly to 3rd Space with the aim of raising funds to reach the goal of $150,000 to keep the centre’s café operational for the coming year. Read more here.

Synopsis: Lola in The Mirror

A girl and her mother have been on the run for sixteen years, from police and the monster they left in their kitchen with a knife in his throat. They’ve found themselves a home inside a van with four flat tyres parked in a scrapyard by the edge of the Brisbane River.

The girl has no name because names are dangerous when you’re on the run. But the girl has a dream. A vision of a life as an artist of international acclaim. A life outside the grip of the Brisbane underworld drug queen ‘Lady’ Flora Box. A life of love with the boy who’s waiting for her on the bridge that stretches across a flooding, deadly river. A life beyond the bullet that has her name on it.  And now that the storm clouds are rising, there’s only one person who can help make her dreams come true. That person is Lola and she carries all the answers. But to find Lola, the girl with no name must first do one of the hardest things we can ever do. She must look in the mirror.

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March 2024: Women & Children, Tony Birch