When Kate and Cameron rent a house on Border Street, they cannot possibly imagine how involved they will become with their elderly Czech-Australian landlords, Frank and Vera, who live next door. Kate’s inquisitiveness compels her to find out more about her new neighbours and as Frank opens up to her, she becomes captivated by a dark European history that she’d never known or cared about. Through the strong bond forged between them, Frank and Kate are forever changed. When Kate suffers her own tragedy, she is forced to accept that not everything in life is within our control.
Border Street is a beautifully crafted novel whose vivid and authentic characters will stay with readers long after the book is finished.
The Asher Literary Award, which is offered in collaboration with the Literature Board of the Australia Council, is for a female author of a literary work which carries an anti-war message or theme.
‘Utterly engrossing and moving … an exquisitely poised and intelligent unveiling of secrets; a book honouring the hidden, the intimate and the painfully unresolved.’
– Gail Jones, author of Sorry; Dreams of Speaking
‘A book that looms closer with every page … By the end, you start seeing the characters on the street, and you hear their voices in your sleep.’
– Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
‘The unpretentious nature of [Leal’s] prose belies the subtlety of what she is doing. We follow Frank from the infamous Theresienstadt Ghetto into “the camps” and the tale is chilling. Kate becomes Frank’s listener and Cam becomes jealous. Leal is able to create shades and nuances in all these characters as she draws Kate and Cam towards a sadness of their own.’
– Michael McGirr, Sydney Morning Herald
‘A deceptively quiet novel. Beneath Leal’s simple prose and gentle humour is an astute and subtle study of grief, love and the value of human intimacy – however complex and imperfect it may be.
– Australian Book Review