A New Map of the Universe is an engaging and lyrical novel that spans two generations and both hemispheres as the main character, Grace, navigates her new map of the universe. It is a story about grief and passion, architecture and astronomy, but above all about finding yourself.
Grace dreams of designing a house for her lover, Michael, a place where they can begin their life together. But before she can step into her future with Michael, Grace must journey into the past to confront its crippling legacy of silence and secrets.
Exploring the tragic consequences when people cease communicating with each other, and the suffering imposed on children by adults crippled by grief, A New Map of the Universe is a story about the nurturing power of love and compassion, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Annabel Smith dances on a tightrope without a safety net, each of her four lyrical chapters a minor tour de force.
Judges’ report, West Australian Premier’s Book Awards 2005
Impressive in scope and beautifully written… Grace the protagonist is a character of considerable depth and subtlety.
Justine Ettler, The Weekend Australian
What stands out for me most in this book is a quality in the characters themselves – an ability to feel deeply and to cherish this ability in others.
Dorothy Johnston, Canberra Times
… even though it’s her first published work, A New Map of the Universe bears all the assurance of an experienced writer, so deftly is it written.
Mark Irving, The West Australian
It takes great confidence to write extended passages of eroticism or imaginative longing, and to include them in a narrative that also movingly portrays grief, inarticulate isolation, and cruelty. Annabel Smith has achieved this.
Professor Andrew Taylor
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