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The Keepers

This daring and dazzling debut shines a light on those who are let down by the systems that are supposed to care for them, or by parents who can’t love, revealing the unsung heroes of our communities.

(Trade paperback)
Ships on 1/02/2022

Jay’s life is devoted to the care of her twin teenage sons, who view the world as differently as it views them. Frank is sweet, overweight and bullied, while Teddy is whip-sharp, despite needing an iPad to speak. With an absent husband, and embroiled in an endless battle with social services, Jay comes to depend on Keep, her lifelong half-real friend. But in the corner of her eye lurks her mother, and a childhood Jay knows she can’t ever outrun.

Jay believes she is managing things quite well, with a half-grip on this half-life of hers. That is, until Teddy starts to get sick, refusing to eat, while doctors refuse to listen, confounding everything Jay thought she knew about what lies ahead.

The Keepers is an incredible and fiercely honest debut about the damage done by parents who can’t love, the failures of a community that only claims to care, and the resilience of those whose stories mostly go untold.

Al Campbell

Al Campbell

Born in Brisbane, Al Campbell is a mother and full-time carer. Long ago she studied a bit, acted a bit, and pulled a lot of beers. Her first-ever publication was in Overland in 2020, followed by a story in Signs of Life – an anthology. The Keepers all but begged her to write it, given it is about issues – and people – that matter to her more than anything.