Only Ever Always

Front Cover
Allen & Unwin, 2011 - Juvenile Fiction - 177 pages
10 Reviews
Who dreams the dreamer?

Claire lives in an ordinary world where everything is whole. But inside Claire is broken. The silvery notes of her music box allow her an escape from her grief into a dream-world, into Clara's world.

Clara's world has always been broken. She finds broken things to swap at the markets; she walks the treacherous route past the brown river where lone dogs prowl; she avoids the seamy side when she can, but with powerful people pulling the strings, it's not always possible.

Which world is real?

Claire's and Clara's paths are set to collide, and each has much to lose - or gain.

Original and poetic, this captivating novel explores dreams, grief, friendship and love through a brilliantly constructed dystopian fantasy world.

'Like the sound of the little loved music box that is so pivotal to the story, Penni Russon's Only Ever Always is both deeply touching and strangely eerie, leaving the reader with a mixture of warmth and apprehension, yearning and wonder - about death, life, language, art,dreams and childhood. Fascinating and absolutely memorable.' - Ursula Dubosarsky

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Review: Only Ever Always

User Review  - Jenny - Goodreads

I read this book on a recommendation from a friend. It was a bit hard to get into at first, but after the first 15-20 pages I was hooked. If you like dystopian novels you will probably enjoy this. The ... Read full review

Review: Only Ever Always

User Review  - Hanna Morgan - Goodreads

Could not get into this book. Gave up at page 57. The Podunk dialogue was really annoying. Read full review

About the author (2011)

Penni Russon was born in Hobart, and spent her childhood roaming around on a small mountain. Eventually she had to grow up, and she moved from Tasmania to Melbourne to study classics, archaeology, women's studies and contemporary literature. She writes, edits and teaches creative writing, and lives in outer Melbourne with her husband and three children.

Find out more about Penni at, or her blog

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