A fabulous new storyteller

Posted by Rachael McDiarmid, Publisher Relations & Marketing Communications Manager on 12 August 2013 | 0 Comments

We found this wonderful "Dear Bookseller" letter from Claire Craig, Publisher at Pan Macmillan Australia, regarding their new author Nelika McDonald. We thought it was too good not to share, particularly when Nelika McDonald's debut The Vale Girl  is a James Bennett "Read it, Love it, Add it to Your Profile" selection. You can read more about "Read it, Love it" here.


Dear Bookseller

There is a fabulous new storyteller among us: Nelika McDonald.

I've read hundreds and hundreds of submissions, but I was stunned when I read THE VALE GIRL. It was everything I ever hope for from a new author.

I was pulled fiercely and immediately into the story: lured by the voices, the setting, the layering of the plot, the menace, the nuances, the poignancy of lost and abandoned children, the wry characterisation, the warmth and the humour.

The beautifully assured writing evokes a small town stifled by secrets and lies.  We all know these towns. (Some of us were born into them.) They're the ones with the manicured main streets and quaint shops selling gingham pots of jam; the towns where the local gossips knit and snip with their words; the towns where the suffocating past casts its long shadow over the next generation.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Vale, the daughter of the local prostitute, has always lived in this shadow. When she disappears one steamy summer's day, the town of Banville and its inhabitants are shaken, irrevocably, from all they ever wanted to be true.

This is a mystery, a love story, a coming-of-age tale but, mostly, it's an extraordinary experience for anyone who loves to be utterly gripped by a novel and enchanted by its characters.

With best wishes

Claire Craig


Pan Macmillan Australia

(reproduced with Claire's permission for The Bennett Blog)

The Vale Girl
Nelika McDonald
ISBN 9781742612423
Macmillan Australia
August 2013
Trade Paperback
310 pages
competitive library discounts apply