‘Astonishing and fascinating . . . Christine Bongers has created a gripping and intriguing story which is difficult to put down and even more difficult to forget.’ 5-star review, TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN

‘This is a fierce, snarling, lively little tale, like being squashed into the backseat of an old Holden with a bunch of sticky kids. The raw authenticity of Christine Bongers’ first novel will appeal to readers in their mid-teens: there’s no danger of adult interference as Sis tells her story.’ Viewpoint on books for young adults, Vol 17, no 3 Spring 2009

‘Powerful, evocative and warm, Dust is about the impact of fundamental moments that shape our identities.’ Notebook Magazine, September 2009.

‘Bongers’ main character, Cecilia, is a smart, gutsy and lovable girl with a delightful rebellious streak. But this is much more than an Australian Anne of Green Gables. It is amusing and light-hearted, yet it steadily builds to a profoundly sad and disturbing crescendo. I loved it.’ 4 ½ STARS, Highly Recommended, Good Reading Magazine, July 2009.

“Christine is a novice writer and I believe her first book will create a minor sensation. She has captured the outback of the 70’s with an evocative and earthy flavour. Her story is complex, multi-faceted and sensitive-tough. This is as good as it gets, please show your English Department to allow for multiples.” Australian Standing orders, (Secondary Standing Order No. 6 2009)

“Dust is a novel of transition: from drought to flood, from childhood to adolescence, from innocence to maturity, and from ignorance to hard-won wisdom. Told in beautifully lyrical yet surprisingly tough language, the novel perfectly evokes an Australia also in transition, socially and politically. It provides with remarkable clarity a glimpse into another era and into the hearts and minds of its beautifully drawn characters. Although set some 35 years ago, the novel rings with truths about the human condition that young readers today will easily recognise and value.” Judith Ridge, Teaching Support Kit, Dust

‘Bongers has written a book about a just-distant past which is likely to appeal to today’s teenagers. The issues of wanting to fit in, of not being understood, the fear of alienation, are constants for young people. Bongers’ characters know and feel these issues keenly. Dust will reward its readers.’ Courier Mail, 1 August 2009.

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Comments
  1. Congrats Chris, for these deserving reviews … You must be stoked!

  2. Very deserving reviews. Congrats to you. XO

  3. Michael says:

    These are great Chris. Congratulations! I’m reading a YA novel at the moment that I’m finding hard work. Can’t wait to finish it and to get on to ‘Dust’ which is waiting patiently there on my bedside table.

  4. Hiya Chris,

    Well … the reviews are right on I say. I finished Dust last week and sucked up every word in anticipation of the next. The sections we critiqued were tight and flowed effortlessly. I have so many questions about your own childhood in Biloela that I’ll need to bring a notebook when I see you next.

    My 17yr old sister, Alex, mauled it first (she breaks spines and folds pages back on themselves) and said she found it compelling and as an English girl loved reading an Australian story.

    Bloody good job! Josie

  5. Couldn’t get any better than that, Chris.
    Btw, are you going to the QWC workshop re online stuff on Wednesday 29th?
    Sheryl

    • chrisbongers says:

      Thanks Sheryl, I’d love to. I have to see if I can get rid of the electrician I’ve been waiting weeks for, in time to get there (and if they have any spaces left!)

  6. Angela Sunde says:

    Chris, you must be over the moon. All that hard work is paying off. Warm Congratulations!

    Angela

  7. Karen says:

    Congratulations on such great reviews, Christine. I’ve just finished “Dust” myself and thoroughly enjoyed it. It deals with traumatic and confronting situations with a great deal of sensitivity. It really resonated with me. I think we all had ‘Icky Abernicky’s’ of some sort at our own schools. As an adult it makes me wonder what was going on in their lives that as a kid I couldn’t see.

  8. Wonderful reviews Chris, and so well deserved! File these away to reread on those bad days when the writing isn’t flowing and everything feels tough – they should always bring a smile to your face 🙂

  9. Cynthia says:

    This is such a fab review. What a shame I haven’t been able to find a copy yet. Is that a special publishing ploy to beat up interest? 🙂

    cynthia

  10. Misrule says:

    Hey Chris,

    Just popping in to claim credit for the Australian Standing Orders review, which is actually from the teachers’ notes I wrote for Dust for Random House. But they’re not up on the website yet so I can’t send a link through! Rats!

    Cheers, and congrats on all the great press the book is getting–entirely deserved!

    Judith

    • chrisbongers says:

      Thanks Judith! Leonie is now back on deck, so I expect the Teachers’ notes will be up on the RHA website shortly. I will definitely be posting a link when they’re up. Thanks again for your wonderful comments – can’t wait to read them in their entirety!

  11. i♥DUST says:

    the book ‘Dust’ was amazing, ive read it over 4 times now, and i only received the book last week. it’d be awesopme if there were somehow a sequel? Haha keeep up the good work Christine (:

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