Discover life-lit, a new genre from popular Australian author
Day 9: Do you love to read? Every day throughout January we are publishing an extract from an Australian author to help you find excitng new authors to add to your reading list.
Today’s extract is from Flying the Nest by Perth based author Rachael Johns. She is Australia’s leading writer of contemporary relatationship stories around women’s issues, a genre she’s calling life-lit.
Extract from Flying the Nest:
It was seven o’clock in the morning and I was cutting oranges for
Payton’s soccer game when Adrian casually asked if I’d heard of nest
I paused and searched my memory. It sounded vaguely familiar —
like I’d read about the concept online or heard it discussed in one of
the many podcasts I listened to. Although I’m almost forty, I pride
myself on my memory and, sure enough, I recalled there was a mum
who had a kid in the year below at Saxon’s school who was nest
parenting with her husband. Or rather ex-husband!
‘Yeah, what about it?’ I said, as I bent to get a large container
from our Tupperware drawer.
Adrian took a sip of his coffee, then, ‘I was thinking we should
give it a try.’
And that is the exact moment the bottom fell out of my world!
I had to have heard wrong or at least misunderstood. Or maybe
How did he even know what nest parenting was? It wasn’t like he
usually concerned himself with the day-to-day minutiae of our kids’
world, never mind other people’s. Adrian’s world revolved around
his podiatry clinic and (currently) cycling.
So, perhaps he thought nest parenting was something else —
possibly something like leaving Saxon at home to look after
Payton while we had a dirty weekend away down south. It
had been a while since we’d had much ‘alone’ time, and while I
didn’t really miss frequent sex, my husband was as red-blooded
a male as they came. When we’d first got together, we’d had sex
every day — sometimes two or three times — but that was over
twenty years ago when we were young and childfree, before
life and responsibility got in our way. And, from the way my
other mum friends talked, our ritual bonk on Saturday night was
But before I had the chance to ask him what exactly he was
talking about, Payton skipped into the kitchen, proudly wearing her
soccer uniform, her socks pulled up to her knees, her long, golden
brown hair pulled back in a high ponytail and her usual bright smile
lighting her face.
‘You guys ready to go?’ she asked, thankfully oblivious to
the dark cloud that had descended upon the room. ‘I don’t
want to miss pre-game training. I know summer soccer is only
supposed to be for fun, but coach says if we work on our team
communication and win this game, we have a real chance of getting
in the finals this year.’
‘Course we are, kiddo.’ Adrian dumped his mug in the sink and
reached out to ruffle her hair. She ducked just in time so as not to
spoil her look. She may only be ten and what some of my friends
called a tomboy, but she cared immensely about her appearance.
Almost as much as she cared about her juggle record.
‘Mum?’ Payton whined. ‘What are you doing?’
I blinked, realising that I was frozen, still semi-bent over the
Tupperware drawer, my hand tightly gripping the container.
Straightening fast, I said, ‘Just organising the oranges,’ but my voice
didn’t sound like mine.
My daughter rolled her eyes and gave me a look that only teenage
girls should give their mothers. Payton was definitely ten going on
As she and Adrian started out of the kitchen towards the front
door, my hands shook and my eyes prickled as I placed the oranges
into the container and shut the lid. What if my husband did know
what he was talking about? Was this his less-than-subtle way of
telling me he wanted a divorce?
Want to read more? Buy Flying the Nest by Rachael Johns (published by Harper Collins) here