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ISBN: 9781925816365
Dimensions: B+ Format: 20.5x13.8cm
Pages: 240
Publication year: 2021
Publisher: Fremantle Press
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Locust Summer

Written by David Allan-Petale


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On the cusp of summer, 1986, Rowan Brockman’s mother asks if he can come home to Septimus in the Western Australian Wheatbelt to help with the harvest. Rowan’s brother Albert, the natural heir to the farm, has died, and Rowan’s dad’s health is failing. Although he longs to, there is no way that Rowan can refuse his mother’s request as she prepares the farm for sale.

This is the story of the final harvest – the story of a young man in a place he doesn’t want to be, being given one last chance to make peace before the past, and those he has loved, disappear.


‘Locust Summer is about a final harvest, but it’s so much more. Few novels have such quiet authority and insight into pasts and futures, nostalgia and grief.’ Toni Jordan

‘Authentic, true, and moving – this book made me want to hug my kids, my wife, my parents, and never let them go. This writer will break your heart and fix it again, all within a paragraph. A real talent.’ Benjamin Hobson

‘I felt like I was reading one of those literary masterpieces we had to read and analyse in English High School classes … this book falls into that group of literary masterpieces.’ Beauty and Lace

Locust Summer is an absorbing novel that I found unputdownable, and I look forward to reading more from this author.’ ANZ LitLovers

‘In telling the story of this ultimate harvest, the novel works throughout on a metaphoric level, moving from hints of the biblical Plagues of Egypt to the dispossession of Australia’s First Peoples, to the shadowy figure of the Grim Reaper. As the harvester moves through the wheat, the men go “deep into the rhythm of work, like monks meditating”. The Australian

‘The chapters are short, lending strength to the narrative drive … the to and fro between mother and son, and the father’s health battles are worth your reading time.’ Good Reading

‘This is a book that reflects on families, and grief, and memory, but also on the challenges of trying to capture the complexity of real life in prose …’ West Australian

‘With true journalistic precision, Locust Summer gives the reader just enough, and gets to the emotional heart of its story quickly and with great impact.’ The AU Review

‘David Allan-Petale’s debut is a quiet, heartfelt novel …’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘Although strongly evocative of rural life and the relentless work involved in farming the land, the novel’s strength, for me, lies in the delicacy of its handling of family relationships and the way those bonds are tested by internal and external pressures.’ Amanda Curtin

‘David Allan-Petale has written a rich, complex and heart-wrenching novel that is full of insight into how our past stays with us, wherever we go, and whoever we decide to be.’ Westerly

‘It is a superb book – a fine, multilayered synthesis of rich ideas, emphases, sympathies.’ Sandy Toussaint

‘Powerfully poignant, beautifully crafted debut …’ Australian Women’s Weekly

‘The writing is superb, authoritative and insightful and what’s more it is all set in Western Australia … One of my best books of the year!’ The Lane Bookshop


WA Premier’s Book Awards (Shortlisted 2021)
Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award (Shortlisted 2017)

Pages: 240
Publication Year: 2021
Publisher: Fremantle Press
ISBN: 9781925816365
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David Allan-Petale

David Allan-Petale is a writer living between bush and sea north of Perth, Western Australia. He worked for many years as a journalist in WA with the ABC and internationally with BBC World. Written while travelling the globe over five years, Locust Summer was shortlisted for the 2021 WA Premier’s Book Awards and shortlisted for Australian/Vogel’s […]