So Close to Home by Mick Cummins


A tense, moving novel about a young man struggling with addiction and trauma from the winner of the 2023 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. For fans of Craig Silvey’s Honeybee and Mark Brandi’s Wimmera

Eighteen-year-old Aaron is charismatic, resourceful and addicted to heroin. His mum has kicked him out of home in a last-ditch move to help him get straight, and he wanders the streets of South Melbourne, living on his wits and sleeping rough – all the while chasing drugs, dreams and love.

Desperate to fund his addiction, Aaron climbs into the car of The Man, a distinguished elderly gentleman willing to pay for a certain kind of relationship. This regular cash could be the lifeline Aaron needs to start again, but The Man keeps raising spectres from Aaron’s past that he’d rather forget. As Aaron gathers the courage to confront the events that derailed his life, his rage grows – and the consequences could be fatal.

So Close to Home is a pacy, gritty and captivating novel exploring homelessness, power dynamics and the ties that bind. Social worker, debut author and winner of the prestigious VPLA for Unpublished Manuscript Mick Cummins has created a striking, emotionally complex and unnervingly tense narrative that poses one simple question: who can we ever truly rely on?