In 1914, Evie's dreams are destroyed when the shadow of World War I descends. Her sweetheart, eighteen-year-old Tom Windridge, leaves the family's farm to serve in the war with his four brothers. Before he goes, Evie gives Tom a small key as a good luck charm - the key to her heart. Evie's spirit is shattered when she learns Tom will not return. Grappling with religious differences and the conscription debate, Evie abandons her values and ambition when wooed by the local priest's charming, yet controlling nephew. Fate intervenes to unlock a new beginning for Evie when Tom's older brother, Jack, returns from the Western Front with the missing key. In a parallel narrative, Evie's great-granddaughter, Lizzie, is dealing with the social challenges of becoming an adult in 2018. In her final year of high school, she suddenly rejects her friends, her study and her principles to start a potentially life-changing relationship with Brandon, a narcissistic football player who conceals his predatory intention. Nick, a fellow student, secretly protects Lizzie, but an altercation with Brandon fills her with shame and regret. A century on, the tiny key once again unlocks the way forward.
Allison Marlow Paterson is the author of the 2016 ABIA and CBCA longlisted title Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front, the children’s version of the adult non-fiction title Anzac Sons: the Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars. Both are based on a collection of over 500 letters sent from the Western Front by her grandfather and his four brothers.Her children’s picture books Granny’s Place and Shearing Time are inspired by childhood memories of her grandparents and life on the farm.
Allison was a teacher-librarian for over twenty years and has reviewed children’s literature for Magpies Magazine for 15 years. Allison now works full-time as a writer and presenter in schools. She was a recipient of a 2017 May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Fellowship. The resulting young adult manuscript Follow After Me will be published in 2019. Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials is the first in a series with the next Customs and Traditions of The Australian Defence Force to be released in 2019.