Adrift in a failing marriage, Maya Wise is alone in a strange world far from home. Intrigued by an elderly Chinese man carrying a caged nightingale, she begins to follow him through the streets and alleys of Hong Kong. Drawn to Ken Tiger and his painful tale of lost love in wartime Shanghai, Maya begins to piece together other stories, other histories from the world around her, and so comes to imagine another life, a different future, for herself. A eulogy for the end of love, The Last Sky is also a moving meditation on exile, memory and the ways in which we reconcile ourselves with loss.
Winner – Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist of the Year
Winner – TAG Hungerford Award
Shortlisted – The Australian Society of Authors’ Barbara Jefferis Award
Shortlisted - The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award.
Partly a haunting and uneasy love story, partly a subtle exploration of cultural and political tensions. Nelson’s prose is elegant and freighted with exquisite perception. The Weekend Australian
In this rich and evocative novel, Nelson moves her narrative easily between Perth and China, between the past and the future, juxtaposing the inner life of her protagonist, Maya Wise, with the political upheaval of the Hong Kong handover. The themes of exile and dislocation are cleverly drawn and Maya’s imagined wanderings into wartime Shanghai give her refuge in someone else’s past. The language displays great restraint as well as real lyrical beauty. Sydney Morning Herald
The author is clearly a major new talent and one to watch for in the future. Westerly Magazine