An elegant young woman stands with her two children at the gate of an austere chateau, locked out. The three have come from Australia, escaping violence, and their arrival is unexpected. The two children have never been here before. The woman, Olivia, has come home. But home is not as it was. Even when Olivia gains entry, what she finds is not what she left. While the children are entranced by the house, the formal gardens and the inviting lake, Olivia learns that members of her estranged family have experienced tragedies they cannot openly discuss - just as she has, herself - leading them to behave in ways that destabilise a world of exquisite artifice and control. Disquiet is a hauntingly strange and absolutely compelling vision of a family in extremis, a richly imagined and delicately poetic work by one of Australia's most acclaimed writers.
Shortlisted for NSW Premier's Literary Award Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 2009.