Trip of a Lifetime is about the things that are too hard to talk about, the secrets we keep from those we love, to protect them and to protect ourselves. It’s about how those secrets can create fault lines in our relationships.
I wanted to explore the impact of a violent crime dropping like a stone into the placid pool of everyday life; how far the ripples would spread, the pressure they would put on the fault lines. I wanted to see how people might change when they simply had to confront things they had failed to face, about themselves, about each other, about their relationships.
Because I enjoy writing about people, particularly women, in their fifties and beyond the focus is on them; people who have kept their secrets for a very long time, people who have left bits of themselves stuck in the past. But younger people and children have a significant part in the story because we are all part of families and circles of friends and colleagues whose lives intertwine with our own often in quite surprising ways.
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Reviews and comments
‘Byrski is a lively and imaginative storyteller with a good sense of structure and this is a highly readable account of contemporary Australian life.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘The latest novel from Australian writer Liz Byrski is another insightful peek into the hearts and minds of women. An Absorbing read with fascinating observations on the physical and emotional impact of a sudden act of violence.’ Northern Star
Regular readers of Liz Byrski know they are in capable hands when they embark on a new book from her. She possesses that sometimes underrrated asset, the ability to spin a yarn, sustaining pace and interest. We need more from someone who can do that.
Weekend Australian Review
Byrski is carving our a niche writing for women in their fifties, who seem to be invisible elsewhere in literature. There are lots of books focusing on women up to their 40s, but once they hit 50, they seem to cease to exist – or to be portrayed as as nosey old neighbours or bossy mother-in-laws. And they certainly aren’t having sex.
Byrski is hell-bent on showing that midlife is no longer a time when women step off a cliff and disappear. I fall into that demographic – and her books have an enormous resonance for me. Women like me read them to see ourselves reflected back; men read them to understand; one woman read a Byrski book, and apparently packed her bags and took off, ending up doing voluntary work in Peru. I can understand that.