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ISBN: 9781760992620
Dimensions: C Format: 23x15.2cm
Pages: 288
Publication year: 2023
Publisher: Fremantle Press
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Salt River Road

Written by Molly Schmidt

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Introducing an exciting new voice in Australian fiction: Molly Schmidt, winner of the 2022 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award. Salt River Road is a compelling coming-of-age novel about grief and healing set in a small town in the 1970s.

In the aftermath of their mother’s death, the Tetley siblings’ lives are falling apart. Left to fend for themselves as their family farm goes to ruins, Rose sets out to escape the grief and mess of home. When she meets Noongar Elders Patsy and Herbert, she finds herself drawn into a home where she has the chance to discover the strength of community, and to heal a wound her family has carried for a generation.

Salt River Road is a poignant exploration of healing and resilience, small-town racism and the power of human connection.


‘This story retains an innocence and a sense of decency even as it glides through pain, love and complex politics. It’s refreshing, and open.’  Kim Scott

‘An amazing new talent.’ Brett D’Arcy 

Salt River Road is an impressive and courageous debut and will appeal to those who enjoy the nostalgia of 1970s Australia. It is challenging to read in places, but well worth it.’ Books+Publishing

Salt River Road is a moving debut that beautifully discusses the many facets of grief while respectfully representing all that Molly learned from her time with local elders. It is a story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.’ Billie-Jo Whitbread, Albany Advertiser

‘For educators, reading a book like Salt River Road can also provide an insight into the mind of a grieving teen and what might be going on behind what can seem like thoughtless, destructive behaviour.’ Shannon Meyerkort, School News Australia

‘Molly Schmidt is a gifted storyteller; she writes with her heart and soul … [she] pens characters, young and old, all grieving, each in a different place in their personal journey.’ Melissa T.Beauty + Lace

‘The language of grief is exactly right and very affecting. Schmidt does not judge the family who lost their lynchpin, letting their actions speak for themselves.’ Helen Purdie, Magpies Magazine

‘A wonderful debut that thoroughly deserved the Hungerford Award.’ Good Reading

‘This is a gorgeous, heartfelt book and I feel certain that its run of award-winning has only just begun. Reach for this one if you love Australian literary fiction.’ Emily Paull, AU Review

‘[A] confident, compelling and heartfelt novel about grief, family, coming of age, connection and racism that’s written with sensitivity and care.’ Gemma Nisbet, West Australian

‘An outstanding piece of Australian literature, both as an exploration of adolescent grief and depression, and as a highly respectful journey towards reconciliation where old grievances are worked out and people come together as a renewed community.’ Helen Eddy, Booktopia

Salt River Road is an impressive and original debut from an author who no doubt has a long and successful career ahead. It will tear your guts out and set your heart soaring at the same time, and is worth every second of reading. It is a testament to the sheer power of good storytelling and opens the door for further exploration of reconciliation through artistic endeavours.’ Westerly Magazine

Salt River Road really is an exquisitely written book that culminates in an uplifting ending that highlights the power of community and belonging.’ Australian Rural & Regional News


City of Fremantle Hungerford Award (Winner 2022)

Indie Book Awards Debut Fiction (Shortlisted 2024)

Western Australian Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer (Shortlisted 2023)

Pages: 288
Publication Year: 2023
Publisher: Fremantle Press
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Molly Schmidt

Molly Schmidt is a writer and journalist from the coastal town of Albany, Western Australia. An only child, she grew up roaming paddocks and climbing paperbark trees on Menang Noongar country. Storytelling has been part of Molly’s world since she could speak. When she was ten years old, her father lost his battle with terminal […]