At twelve years old, Day is not prepared for his mother’s death – strapped to a bed in a locked bedroom then buried rough-shod in the sand. Stunned and in fear of his father, Day rides out of their remote New South Wales farm, sure of nothing but that he isn’t coming back.
Day finds work as a stable-boy, transforms himself into an expert groom and escapes Australia with a racehorse called Unusual. In the alien landscape of Maryland, his undiminished, painful love for his mother is challenged by the arrival of Callie, her heart set on becoming the world’s first female jockey. As Day’s passion for Callie takes hold, he is forced to confront his past – and to accept that the only way forward is to go back.
David Francis’s debut novel is a haunting evocation of a devastated boy and his valiant efforts to forge connections with the world around him. Written with exceptional subtlety, grace and compassion, it marks Francis out as a talented and stirring new voice.
Praise for Agapanthus Tango by David Francis
‘A brilliant achievement.’ —Robert Dessaix
‘... graceful ... [an] affecting first novel.’ —The Washington Post
‘David Francis may not be a poet, but he sure writes like one. His prose is lean but dreamy, full of sensual detail … It’s all done with skill and elegance.’ —The San Francisco Chronicle
‘A spare, dark, brilliant book. Clear the day to read it.’ —Martin Cruz Smith