“Lawrence’s flair and skill with narrative are everywhere in evidence, even as her story ranges widely in time and place. It deals with the most intimate personal experiences and the largest questions of cultural identity and political and religious conflict.” Nicholas Jose, Novelist and General Editor, Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature
“In telling the story of [Adi’s] journey from Indonesia to Australia and back … the novel offers a compelling portrait of the rich cultural ties between these two countries as well as an acknowledgement of the silences and gaps that haunt their relationship.” Shameem Black, Fiction Across Borders
[Lawrence] crafts a beautiful, complex love
story. At the heart of her tale is a moving paean to the power of art to recast one’s view of the world, to generate a “new sensibility, a new way of seeing.” A touching story that intelligently explores the potential for art and romance to bridge a cultural divide. Kirkus Review
Details of both Sydney and Java are delightfully described through an artist’s viewpoint (“freckled patterns of blue-grey green in the roadside bush, the sun-split muddy yellows and subtle hints of red and pink”). This story of love and art impresses in its portrayal of the characters’ hard-won success at bridging their cultural differences. Publishers Weekly
Lawrence subtly weaves the personal and the political, individual and national histories, as Adi grows as a man and as an artist. She is unhurried in her meticulous establishment of Adi as a fully developed character. As she builds Adi, layer by careful layer, I found an empathy for him that, once established, remained unshaken through the book. Jenny Bird, Northerly, Winter 2020.