About the author

Peggy Frew

About the book

Judges' report

Hope Farm concerns thirteen-year-old Silver, who has spent her life being moved from ashram to ashram and commune to commune by her mother Ishtar. In 1985 the latest move – at the urging of her mother’s new lover – is to Hope Farm, a run-down, weed-strewn property in rural Victoria, where the commune’s adults stubbornly cling to the faded promise of their ideals.

Peggy Frew displays an acute understanding of the powerlessness of a child: Silver is at the mercy of adults who are oblivious to the depth of her emotions and strength of her intellect. She also portrays the sometimes pathetic, sometimes funny, sometimes harmful actions of the book’s adults, without allowing them to become caricatures or villains. In spite of its darkness, Hope Farm is written in prose infused with love and wonder for the world.

Further reading


‘One of the final strengths of  Frew’s writing is her instinct not to veer into cliche.  As with growing up, there are many bright instances in Hope Farm, but where one might hope, despite it all, for relief, Frew is beautifully and necessarily steadfast.’ Jessica Au, The Sydney Morning Herald

‘Hope Farm is a nuanced, painful novel. In exploring what happens to the love between a parent and child when the rules of that relationship dissolve, and where the freedoms overwhelm, Frew exposes the raw tenderness of loving but not being loved in return. For that, forgiveness may simply never be enough.’ Meredith Jaffe, The Guardian

‘Hope Farm is a gorgeously written gem of a novel. I have not come across another Australian novel yet this year that I have enjoyed more.’ Jason Austin, Readings


Share via: