Carroll’s fifth novel in the ‘Glenroy’ series follows a period of change not just for the characters, but for the nation as a whole. Set against the backdrop of Whitlam’s final weeks in office, we observe the lives of five individuals – whose stories are subtly interwoven. As radicals become conservative and relationships break down, Carroll insights that all too familiar yearning within each character; a yearning for the past, for a ‘simpler time.’
As someone who lacks experience of Australian life in the seventies, I could nevertheless understand the reflection that these characters undergo. The notion of longing for a past self is an attractive one for many, which is in part why this book is so relatable. We can appreciate these characters’ journeys because we can recognise ourselves in them.
In writing this, I am reminded of Joan Didion’s thoughts on self-reflection: “We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find the attractive company or not.” In ‘Forever Young,’ Carroll explores the passage of time and of our yearning for the people we used to be – a profoundly moving work.
Don’t forget, we’ll be hosting an event with Steven Carroll in the shop this Tuesday, so make sure to book your tickets online or in-store.