A tender and terrifying page-turner from the master of white-knuckle suspense and searing family drama.
Caro and Anna are best friends... they were best friends. Over a decade, Caro and Anna have bonded while raising their daughters, two little girls the same age but living two very different lives. The women have supported each other as they have shared the joys and trials of motherhood, but now everything has changed.
There's been a terrible car accident, an unimaginable tragedy that leaves both families devastated. Over two days, as Caro and Anna each detail their own versions of events, they are forced to reveal hidden truths and closely guarded secrets.
The complicated lives of wives and mothers are laid bare as both women come to realise that even best friends don't tell each other everything. And when hearts are broken, even best friends need someone to blame.
A hard-hitting, provocative and gripping read from the queen of white-knuckle suspense and searing family drama.
Nicole Trope is a former high school teacher with a Masters Degree in Children's Literature. In 2005 she was one of the winners of the Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development. In 2009 her young adult novel titled I Ran Away First was shortlisted for the Text Publishing Prize. Blame is Nicole's sixth novel. Her previous titles include the acclaimed The Boy Under The Table, Three Hours Late, The Secrets in Silence, and Hush, Little Bird.
Allen and Unwin
Author: Nicole Trope
Question: What inspired you to write Blame?
Nicole Trope: I caught a scene on a television program where the set up was two separate interview rooms in a police station. I loved that idea because in all my novels I like to explore the concept of perspective. We are all, of course, unreliable narrators of our own lives. No one will see a situation in the same way we do. At the same time I read an article on a mother's struggle to deal with her Autistic child and I began to think about the difficulties some parents have raising special needs children. Caro and Anna simply appeared one day and the story developed from there.
Question: Are the characters based on anyone you know?
Nicole Trope: No. Characters are really an amalgamation of different people and ideas. I learn about them as the novel develops and by the end they are real enough to me so that I wouldn't be surprised to meet them in my daily life. I never intentionally base them on anyone but I have had family question me on that.
Question: What was the best part about creating the characters of Caro and Anna?
Nicole Trope: I liked them both so much by the end of the novel. They both forced me to question some of my own ideas.
Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?
Nicole Trope: I am very much inspired by real world events. Sometimes two stories will collide and produce an idea for a novel. I am fascinated by the things that aren't said and the parts of the story that are left out in a news report or article.
Question: How does it feel to have your writing associated with Jodi Picoult?
Nicole Trope: It's never a bad thing to be associated with a best -selling author and I do love her work.
Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Nicole Trope: Keep going. Keep learning and always keep reading. I think it is very difficult to write a novel unless you are in love with reading. If you feel your work is ready there are many competitions every year that you can enter as well.
Interview by Brooke Hunter