The Hummingbird Effect

An epic, kaleidoscopic story of four women connected across time and place by an invisible thread and their determination to shape their own stories, from the acclaimed author of The Mother Fault.

Longlisted for the Stella Prize 2024
Longlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2024
Sydney Morning Herald Best Reads of the Year for 2023

One of the lucky few with a job during the Depression, Peggy’s just starting out in life. She’s a bagging girl at the Angliss meatworks in Footscray, a place buzzing with life as well as death, where the gun slaughterman Jack has caught her eye – and she his.

How is her life connected to Hilda’s, almost a hundred years later, locked inside during a plague, or La’s, further on again, a singer working shifts in a warehouse as her eggs are frozen and her voice is used by AI bots? Let alone Maz, far removed in time, diving for remnants of a past that must be destroyed?

Is it by the river that runs through their stories, eternal yet constantly changing – or by the mysterious Hummingbird Project and the great question of whether the march of progress can ever be reversed?

Propulsive, tender and engrossing, this genre-bending novel is a feast for the heart as well as the mind and senses. For fans of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Michelle de Kretser’s The Life to Come and Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House, it confirms Mildenhall as one of the most ambitious and dynamic writers in the country.

‘Kate Mildenhall is such an exciting writer to read … This generous, playful novel speaks to themes of climate change, survival and holding space for each other, as well as the enduring power of female friendship.’ The Guardian

‘Spellbinding, genre-defying, and powerful in its vision of the future … The Hummingbird Effect is a devastating novel that exposes the ways the future is seeded in the past.’ Australian Book Review

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