Prague, 1938: Eva flies down the street from her sister. Suddenly a man steps out, a man wearing a hat. Eva runs into him, hits the pavement hard. His hat is in the gutter. His anger slaps Eva, but his hate will change everything, as war forces so many lives into small, brown suitcases.
Prague, 1980: No one sees Ludek. A young boy can slip right under the heavy blanket that covers this city – the fear cannot touch him. Ludek is free. And he sees everything. The world can do what it likes. The world can go to hell for all he cares because Babi is waiting for him in the warm flat. His whole world.
Melbourne, 1980: Mala Li ka’s grandma holds her hand as they climb the stairs to their third floor flat. Inside, the smell of warm pipe tobacco and homemade cakes. Here, Mana and Bill have made a life for themselves and their granddaughter. A life imbued with the spirit of Prague and the loved ones left behind.
Favel Parrett’s deep emotional insight and stellar literary talent shine through in this love letter to the strong women who bind families together, despite dislocation and distance. It is a tender and beautifully told story of memory, family and love. Because there is still love. No matter what.
In 2011, Favel Parrett’s career was launched with her critically acclaimed debut Past the Shallows. A heart-breaking novel, it was sold internationally, shortlisted in the prestigious Miles Franklin Award and won the Dobbie Literary Award. Favel herself won the ABIA Newcomer of the Year Award in 2012. Her next novel, When the Night Comes, was also critically acclaimed and further consolidated Favel’s reputation with booksellers and readers. Favel’s short stories have been published in various journals including Island, Griffith Review and Wet Ink. There Was Still Love is Favel’s eagerly awaited third novel.
There Was Still Love is a confident, sparkling novel that brings to life the story of a family regrouping after the impacts of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia with warmth and resonance. Parrett is a highly accomplished novelist, and the techniques she employs in this novel prove that she is capable of pushing boundaries when it comes to narrative style.
There Was Still Love moves between two points in time and delves between generations of one family to explore what it means to find home, and how the concept of belonging is shaped by conflict, politics and instability in the lives of a migrant.
Parrett’s ability to hone in on detail to provide depth to her characters is masterful. This is a book that stays with the reader long after the last page is turned.
‘Favel Parrett’s tender new novel, There Was Still Love, explores what it means to make a home and how a person might be free in a world ruptured by political as well as personal upheavals.’ Anna MacDonald, Australian Book Review.
‘Through all this, the bonds of family remain.’ Susan Stevenson, Readings.