Diana Kooper is running. She is looking straight ahead through the warm rain, all silvery in the fluorescent streetlight. The footpath beneath her is so shiny and black it could be liquid.
When Diana Kooper crashes her car, she flees the scene, leaving her best friend slumped and bloodied in the passenger seat. She jumps on a train out of Sydney, then a bus and eventually finds herself at an isolated truck-stop, where she lands a job as a kitchen hand. Here she struggles to forget her past, not knowing whether her friend has lived or died.
Life at the truck-stop is not easy, either. The owner, Bob, has a gambling problem which has landed him in hot water. When his dog is brutally stabbed to death and then Bob rolls his ute, Diana knows that trouble is brewing.
The winner of the 2004 Vogel Literary Award, Road Story is a haunting tale of youth, relationships and addiction. One of the most effective parts of the story is that the author has chosen to focus on the way other people’s addictions impact on the main character.
Road Story, by Julienne van Loon
Allen & Unwin, 2005