Skimming Stones

This image shows a picture of the novel Skimming Stones by Maria Papas. Set against a yellow banner

Image of the book cover for the 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award winning novel 'Skimming Stones' by Maria Papas. The image is a close up of an abstract painting in colours such as teal, red, pink and green. It is set against different sized bubbles which appear to float over the top of the painting. The logo 'City of Fremantle Hungerford Award' is placed on the top left hand corner. Brenda Walker's cover quote 'breathtaking, tender, affirming' is set on the right hand side of the cover. Other text includes the novel's title 'Skimming Stones' and the author's name 'Maria Papas'

‘A breathtaking novel about the way ordinary people can open their hearts to the most tender and extreme experiences.’

– Brenda Walker

My take…

In 2020 Skimming Stones won the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award. It’s a novel that took me about 6 years to write (slightly more if you count all the early research and thinking).

Set in a paediatric oncology ward and at Lake Clifton in Australia’s southwest, Skimming Stones is about a nurse named Grace, who on the one hand cares for and guides her young patients, but on the other must navigate her own past as a child who once bore witness to her sister’s leukaemia.

Skimming Stones explores the lifelong effects of childhood illness and trauma. It’s a novel about families, and the ways people within these families love and break until finally they begin to recognise what they have all been through.

This is a novel for readers who want to be swept away in a character’s life, who don’t mind reading for emotional release, but who also look for hope. Ultimately, Skimming Stones will remind you of the power of human connection.

Publisher’s blurb…

Grace first met her lover, Nate, as a teenager, their bond forged in the corridors and waiting rooms where siblings of cancer patients sit on the sidelines. Now an adult, for Grace, nursing is a comforting world of science and certainty. But the paediatric ward is also a place of miracles and heartbreak and, when faced with a dramatic emergency, Grace is confronted with memories of her sister’s illness. Heading south to Lake Clifton and the haunts of her childhood, Grace discovers that a stone cast across a lake sends out ripples long after the stone has gone.

What people are saying…

“The writing in this novel is very moving, the emotions and subtle meanings within the story traversed skilfully and with care” – 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award Judge’s Report

“Breathtaking, tender and affirming” – Brenda Walker

“…this novel deftly illuminates the looping effect of childhood illness and trauma on future lives” – Books+Publishing

“… a thoughtful, wise and wholly engaging story” – ANZ Litlovers

Read a sample chapter…

Head over to the Fremantle Press website to read a sample chapter of Skimming Stones, purchase a copy and view the book club notes.

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Copyright Maria Papas 2021. All Rights Reserved.