The Precipice

Author(s): Virginia Duigan

General | Miles Franklin Long List 2012

Thea Farmer, a reclusive and difficult retired school principal, lives in isolation with her dog in the Blue Mountains. Her distinguished career ended under a cloud over a decade earlier, following a scandal involving a much younger male teacher. After losing her savings in the financial crash, she is forced to sell the dream house she had built for her old age and live on in her dilapidated cottage opposite. Initially resentful and hostile towards Frank and Ellice, the young couple who buy the new house, Thea develops a flirtatious friendship with Frank, and then a grudging affinity with his twelve-year-old niece, Kim, who lives with them. Although she has never much liked children, Thea discovers a gradual and wholly unexpected bond with the half-Vietnamese Kim, a solitary, bookish child from a troubled background. Her growing sympathy with Kim propels Thea into a psychological minefield. Finding Frank's behaviour increasingly irresponsible, she becomes convinced that all is not well in the house. Unsettling suspicions, which may or may not be irrational, begin to dominate her life, and build towards a catastrophic climax.

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Product Information

Virginia Duigan wrote the screenplay of the 1998 movie The Leading Man. Before becoming a novelist, Duigan worked as a journalist, broadcaster, editor and TV scriptwriter. She was a regular feature writer on The National Times, and contributed documentaries to ABC radio.

General Fields

  • : 9781741667165
  • : Random House Australia
  • : Vintage (Australia)
  • : March 2011
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : Australia
  • : June 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Virginia Duigan
  • : Paperback
  • : 511
  • : 823.92
  • : 288