Unforgotten, by Tohby Riddle

Nobody knows where they come from.
But they come.
Impossible birds of the big sky
and the long night …

Unseen, angles come to Earth to watch over, to warm and to mend. But the harshness of the world, and the vastness of the work required proves too much for one of these silent comforters, and it falls to Earth where , sorely in need of comfort itself, he is at risk of not being able to move any more. His plight is seen and acted upon by an unlikely group of rescuers including a clown, children,  even a patched donkey.

Unforgotten is not a story – it’s an experience. And a lyrical, beautiful experience at that. The text is a poem, a line or two to some pages, and no text on others,whisping its way in white font across black backgrounds. The illustrations are an intriguing montage of photographs and drawings, so that the viewer can explore in detail or simply absorb the whole. An initial reading leaves the reader thinking; rereading provides depth and enhances the wonder of the work.

Suitable for readers of all ages.


Unforgotten, by Tohby Riddle
Allen & Unwin, 2012
ISBN 9781742379722

Available from good bookstores and online.

The Lucky Ones, by Tohby Riddle

A few summers back Cain and I went to this party. We were just out of school and though I hadn’t really known Cain at school we’d started spending a lot of time together…In the flux of those last days of school, Cain had come down from the mountain – looking for something. And found me looking for something too.

In 1980s Sydney, Tom and Cain come together, two mates trying to make sense of life after highschool. Tom is at art school and Cain wants to be a poet, although he is also sure the duo can form a wonderful band. Together the pair navigate the world of romance, dreams and social lives, but as Cain becomes increasingly unpredictable, their friendship is tested.

The Lucky Ones is an intriguing read. The narrative is gentle – at times humorous, at others tense, but always feeling like a slice of a young adult’s life told with the honesty and simplicity of a first person voice. There is no sense of hurtling to a big climax – and this tale doesn’t offer one, though there is an appropriate ending to the story.

What is on offer here is a poignant trip through the life of a post school teen, with the highs and lows this offers. Adult readers will enjoy the trip down memory lane that some of the scenes provide – and teens will relate to the timeless realities of Tom and Cain’s lives.

The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones, by Tohby Riddle
Penguin, 2009

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