Thursday, August 7, 2008

This is for the girl: Tomorrow All Will Be Beautiful by Brigid Lowry

In the garden there was a mossy statue of Venus de Milo, the goddess of love. There were tamarillos and grapefruit and a plum tree, and purple wisteria petals thrown in the air like confetti. The gum blossoms wore fuzzy red ballet skirts, and a wild tea-rose curled in the window of the shed. Nina was eight years old and she loved the garden. It was a place of secret corners, of light and shade. In this quiet place the girl played alone, making lipstick from petals, and dolls from old wooden pegs. ("Nina")

Tommorrow All Will Be Beautiful
collects prose and poems into a stunning whole, with a subtle theme of There is more than this, there is beauty everywhere. Her writing is full of earthly goddess wooed by chocolate dipped pears, women marrying seahorses "carrying a bouquet of red nasturtiums and surrounded by my bridesmaids, a merry row of dancing paper dolls," first crushes that will be "a handsome gypsy boy who'll break my heart, or a soft girl with a diamond in her belly button." There are family stories, tragic deaths and losses of friendship, dreams deferred, and questions of identity hidden within the pocketful of stars. Gracing every story are delicate black and white pencil illustrations, teacups and bamboo and high-heeled sandals layered scrapbook style within the text. I especially love her more experimental pieces: "An Alphabet of Girls with Glorious Names" demonstrates her gift for memorable characters painted with the shortest, brightest strokes of a pen, "Coffee, Love, Everything" is the day in the life of The Frangipani Cafe and its inhabitants delineated by its playlist, "A true story involving elves and starlight" documents the real correspondence between Brigid and a young poet named Grace.

I want to tell them that I spent my whole childhood wanting to be ordinary, to get away from my beat-up family with their beat-up lives; but that ordinary is dreary and special is the best. I wish I could show them my angel statue from Indonesia and the anenomies in my pink-blue silent evening garden. I want to say that my auntie bred snakes and that everything changes; that life is hard but you must treat it softly....("The Mirrored Surface")

Brigid Lowry is queen of opening lines, dreamy protagonists, and collage-like prose. This (sadly, Australia-exclusive) collection of her short pieces and poems is for the girl who holds parties in her head, and the girl who wants a nose ring, and the girl who thinks it's entirely impractical that she can't have a pet dragon--readers as whimsical, tragical, and beautiful as the girls woven into Tomorrow All Will Be Beautiful.

Tomorrow All Will Be Beautiful is one of those sad Australia-only exclusives. If you've got the dosh, import it from Gleebooks. If not, pick up a copy from a UK distributor; Book Depository has the best price, cheaper than the AU cover price (and free shipping everywhere!).

If you've followed me this far and need a Brigid Lowry fix now, let me introduce you to three titles you can pick up at your local book emporium.


My name is Rosie Moon. I come from a line of women who have flower names. I'm hungry for a juicy life. I lean out my window at night and I can taste it out there, just waiting for me.

Guitar Highway Rose is the story of Rosie and her friend Asher, and how running away can sometimes lead you exactly where you need to be. As they grow, their parents learn how to let go and become their own people.

As I drifted off I remembered the love spell, safely hidden in the pocket of my dressing gown. Money in one pocket, magic spell in the other; a dressing gown of great riches and supernatural power.

Follow the Blue introduces you to Bec and her crazy, messy, loving family as she grows brave enough to let her wild side out to play. It was one of the first books I reviewed; check it out here.

I wish I lived in another time and place, where round bodies were the fashion. Maybe in Paris in 1892. I can see myself, on my balcony, picking a red geranium from my window box, waving to the handsome boy from across the street. How plump and lovely she is, he thinks, as he waves back. I breakfast on buttery croissants, hot chocolate, and peaches, wearing a cream silk kimono and slippers embroidered with golden birds. Or maybe Tahiti, in Gauguin's time when women were big and brown and lovely no one wanted them to be any different.

Things You Either Hate or Love finds Georgia determined to find love and the $500 she needs for the concert of her dreams. Inspired by The Pillow Book, she documents her attempts in lists, journal entries, and little scraps of her day.

*Brigid Lowry's website
*"Saturday Night," a short piece


Lisa Clark said...

Err...Rie, I take it you'll be totally cool with explaining to my boss-types that the reason why I haven't completed any of my projects is because you keep recommending AMAZING books that I simply HAVE to read!

That book cover is beee-you-tiful and I love the sound of her other books too - you're really gonna be the best librarian in the world you know that, right?!!!

Big love,

L x

Penny Lane said...

Woo hoo! I have just finished some amazing series and so i am in need of some fabulous new books!

Thanks darlin' ♥

fishberryjam said...

the words you use to describe those of others is completely amazing

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