Narrabri welcomed bestselling Australian author Fiona Higgins to the town on November 27 to launch her new book An Unusual Boy.
Held at the Tourist Hotel, the event was part of Mrs Higgins’ tour showcasing the new novel, a week after its global release.
Mrs Higgins is the author of three previous novels, including Fearless, Wife on the Run and The Mothers’ Group.
Having toured Narrabri as part of her earlier book releases, the internationally renowned author said she welcomed returning to the town, and the event had an encouraging engagement.
“I have a great connection to Narrabri and I love coming back,” Mrs Higgins said.
“I have a wonderful friend, Jocellin Jansson, from my work in the philanthropic sector, as well as previous meetings with locals at Narrabri library.
“My husband is a former cotton farmer who has spent a lot of time in Narrabri, so it has a particular fondness.
“The town formed part of the regional tour for this book.
“We had a great time and there was plenty of good discussion around some of the themes and topics treated in the novel.”
An Unusual Boy is fictional and follows 11-year-old boy Jackson Curtis, who is neurodiverse.
Jackson is slightly different in the way he interacts with the world and has unique needs.
The book is told from Jackson and his mother Julia’s perspective as Jackson encounters a problem at school.
“Jackson has additional needs and doesn’t quite understand what is happening around him,” Mrs Higgins said.
“Compassion and empathy is at the core of this book.
“One of the quotes from Jackson’s grandmother says ‘normal doesn’t exist darling, it’s just a cycle on the washing machine’.”
At the launch, Mrs Higgins and readers talked about the book’s themes while discussing different contemporary issues raised in the story.
“We talked about the difficulties of raising children in a digital world and that tension we all experience, which is brought forth in the book.
“A big conversation in the room was about recognising this rapid rate of change and how technology and content are now shown to children at a premature age.
“We also discussed the themes raised such as empathy and having greater compassion, to be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, which is the reasoning behind the two perspectives.”
Ms Jansson described the event as ‘a fantastic night alongside an inspiring woman’.
The book has already received glowing reviews with one reader saying ‘I could totally empathise with the Curtis family. I read this book in one day and I cried from beginning to end. An Unusual Boy is a book everyone should read.’To order photos from this page click here