A novel that punches you in the heart: the powerful, unbearably moving and ultimately uplifting story of twin brothers, Jon and Eden, as they grow up and begin to understand what it is to be men, and what it takes to knit a fractured family back together.
This is a story about love.
Love for nine-year-old twins Jon and Eden Hardacre is simple. Their mum, the creek that they swim in, each other – this is the love that they trust, love as clear and pure as sunlight, as honey, as water. But then there's a terrible accident. And in its wake, they develop a desperation – a yearning – to outgrow tragedy. They get older, compete with each other, fall in love with the same girl, and begin to realise that their lives – and who they love – demand something more. Something deeper. Richer.
Heart-hammeringly original, intense and deeply moving, We Were Not Men is a powerhouse novel about all the various faces that love shows us and how sometimes, distracted by life, ambition or attraction, we take it for granted until it's too late – or almost too late. An unforgettable novel about the difference between getting older and growing up, from an astonishing new and original voice, pulsing with grief, hope and love.
It is a revelation.
'As the author says, there is a difference between growing older and growing up, and this distinction, this tension, is at the heart of his tender, powerful debut novel... superbly intense...heartfelt.' The Australian
'A gut-punching, soul-restoring exploration of brotherhood and human bonds that bend but do not break. You'll dive in at the deep end and you won't want to stop swimming in Campbell Mattinson's words.' Trent Dalton
'Mattinson charts the rough terrain of grief with a tender, huge-hearted story of rivalry and love.'