Author(s): Clare Strahan
At the end of the school year, fifteen-year-old high-achieving 'good girl' Vanessa Partridge re-invents herself and seeks out new life experiences as she asserts her independence. A wonderful and funny coming-of-age story set at the beach over the summer holidays.
Vanessa Partridge, cello-playing good girl, spends every summer holiday at Shearwater. This year, her brother is bringing his best mate, Darith - the object of many, many fantasies Van will never say aloud.
Or will she? This summer feels different…and so does Van.
But her first taste of independence comes with a bitter tang of regret, and when her sense of self is shattered, Van wrestles with ideas of consent and desire, and what it means to want and be wanted.
Can someone with sensible plaits and a soft spot for Plato also have secret, lustful fantasies? And if she does, is there anything wrong with that?
The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge is a heartbreaking and joyful coming-of-age novel about sex, love, family and finding your voice.
'A wonderfully original voice and an irresistible protagonist who captures the complex, hilarious and messy inner life of girls. Witty, funny and heartbreaking - I wished I could lean into the pages and give Vanessa a hug.' - Melissa Keil
Clare Strahan is a Melbourne writer who once rattled out a novel on a manual typewriter by candlelight. Her debut young adult novel, Cracked was shortlisted for the 2015 Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. She managed the fiction reading team at Overland journal for several years, was a peer selection panellist for Varuna, the National Writers House 2014-2016 and teaches creative writing for the PWE Associate Degree at RMIT. She is the creator of the Literary Rats cartoon and flutters about the twittersphere as @9fragments.