‘I love Ashley Hay’s writing … it’s so poised and beautiful. And I know Ashley, and she writes as she is. I always like that in a person: when the writing that they do is very much the person that you get, it has an integrity about it that I enjoy … She can’t write a bad sentence’


The Railwayman's WifeThe Railwayman’s Wife

Australia, 1948.

Anikka Lachlan has all she ever wanted – until a random act transforms her into another post-war widow. Awash in grief, she looks for answers in the pages of her favourite books.

A local poet, Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. His childhood friend Dr. Frank Draper also seeks to reclaim his pre-war life but is haunted by his failure to help those who needed him most – the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps.

Then one day, on the mantle of her sitting room, Ani finds a poem. She knows neither where it came from, nor who its author is. An unexpected and poignant love triangle emerges, between Ani, the poem, and the poet – whoever he may be.

‘A true book of wonders’ Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Year of Wonders

‘Lovely, absorbing, and uplifting’ M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans

‘This is a book in which grief and love are so entwined they make a new and wonderful kind of sense’ Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest

‘Overflows with gratitude for the hard, beautiful things of this world’ Helen Garner

‘Multilayered, graceful, couched in poetry, supremely honest, gentle yet jarring, Hay’s thought-provoking novel pulls you along slowly, like a deep river that is deceptively calm but full of hidden rapids. Much to ponder.’ Kirkus Reviews

A Hundred Small Lessons

A novel of two families, interconnected through the house that bears witness to their lives.

Ashley Hay A Hundred Small Lessons Two Roads Books

When Elsie Gormley leaves the Brisbane house in which she has lived for more than sixty years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, eager to establish their new life. As they settle in, Lucy and her husband Ben struggle to navigate their transformation from adventurous lovers to new parents, taking comfort in memories of their vibrant past as they begin to unearth who their future selves might be.

In her nearby nursing home, Elsie traces the span of her life-the moments she can’t bear to let go and the places to which she dreams of returning – her beloved former house is at the heart of her memories of marriage, motherhood, love, and death.

Through the richly intertwined narratives of these two ordinary, extraordinary women, Ashley Hay uses her lyrical prose, poetic dialogue, and stunning imagery to weave an intricate, bighearted story of what it is to be human.

A Hundred Small Lessons holds powerful truths, simply told.’ Australian Book Review

‘Hay renders the small details of an undramatic, decent life with tenderness that is touching and compelling.’ The Australian 

‘A rich dual character study that spans generations’ Publishers’ Weekly

‘Hay evokes the layered modern life, made up of thousands of tiny decisions that incrementally mould the person.’ Sydney Morning Herald

Ashley Hay Two Roads BooksAshley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of the novels The Body in the CloudsThe Railwayman’s Wife and A Hundred Small Lessons.

The Railwayman’s Wife was honoured with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades. 

She lives in Brisbane, Australia.

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