Lola in the Mirror

Trent Dalton

Lola in the Mirror
HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
4 October 2023

Lola in the Mirror

Trent Dalton

Copies with signed bookplates are available for a limited time. While stock lasts.

Bighearted, gritty, magical and moving, Lola in the Mirror is the irresistible new novel from international bestselling author of Boy Swallows Universe and All Our Shimmering Skies, Trent Dalton. 'Mirror, mirror, on the grass, what's my future? What's my past?'

A girl and her mother are on the lam. They've been running for sixteen years, from police and the monster they left in the kitchen with the knife in his throat. They've found themselves a home inside an orange 1987 Toyota HiAce van with four flat tyres parked in a scrapyard by the edge of the Brisbane River - just two of the 100,000 Australians sleeping rough every night.

The girl has no name because names are dangerous when you're on the run. But the girl has a dream. Visions in black ink and living colour. A vision of a life as a groundbreaking artist of international acclaim. A life outside the grip of the Brisbane underworld drug queen 'Lady' Flora Box. A life of love with the boy in the brown suit who's waiting for her in the middle of the bridge that stretches across a flooding and deadly river. A life far beyond the bullet that has her name on it. And now that the storm clouds are rising, there's only one person who can help make her dreams come true. That person's name is Lola and she carries all the answers. But to find Lola, the girl with no name must first do one of the hardest things we can sometimes ever do. She must look in the mirror.

A big, moving, blackly funny, violent, heartbreaking and beautiful novel of love, fate, life and death and all the things we see when we look in the mirror. All of the past, all of the present, and all of our possible futures.

'Mirror, mirror, please don't lie. Tell me who you are. Tell me, who am I?'


Trent Dalton is never going to write fiction for fiction’s sake. He is a journalist, after all. Therefore, there is always more to his stories than a simple quest or love scenario. In his wonderful third novel, he takes you by the hand and leads you through the streets of Brisbane, demanding you to notice the people on the sidelines; those who are living without a house, those whose luck has run out, or simply those who choose to be invisible. (Or even the man who sits on the street corner with a typewriter collecting love stories.) He does this with compassion, humour, and the odd pop-culture reference. (Fans of the ’80s music scene will be delighted.) And then, by using a story that sweeps across the riverbanks, the fish market, the outer suburbs of Brisbane, and the street corners, Dalton highlights the very real and traumatic effects of violence, and, in particular, violence against women.

The story of a young woman searching for and finding her place in the world is not a new concept, but under Dalton’s mythical guise, Lola In the Mirror becomes an original, heart-thumping novel that manages to illustrate all that is good and bad in each of us. Using sweeping gestures, he writes so that you are right there with the protagonists, feeling and believing every word and every raindrop. It is the type of novel you read filled with pure hope and sorrow for the characters. You want to believe that everything is going to work out just fine, and that there will be dancing, and art, and delight. You won’t know until the end, and by that time you, too, are running through the streets, turning the pages, and trusting that love wins.

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