Bye, Beautiful


Notable Children’s Book Council award

Shortlisted Queensland Premier’s Literary Award

Shortlisted Western Australia Premier’s Book Award

For teachers’ notes, click here.

Bye, Beautiful is a town and family drama about a policeman’s family in the 1960s, set in a wheatbelt town. It centres on the story of socially awkward fourteen-year-old Sandy and her confident older sister, Marianne. When their policeman father is transferred to a small town, both sisters soon find themselves irresistibly drawn to Billy, the town heartthrob, a part-Aboriginal apprentice mechanic. Despite a previous engagement to a man in Perth, and the warnings of those around her, Marianne takes the attraction one step further and, for the era, one step too far…

Buy it online from here.


Julia Lawrinson is a marvellous writer … [Bye, Beautiful] is a mature novel, and a riveting story, that will appeal to a wide audience. The Age

Bye, Beautiful is a sensitive and engaging novel that shows neither the adult nor the teenage world are always what they seem on the surface. The Courier Mail

I welcome Bye, Beautiful as a significant addition to the body of Australian YA Fiction. Judith Ridge

Julia Lawrinson masterfully orchestrates a tense sense of foreboding enhanced by a convincing, compelling portrayal of bigotry set in 1960s Western Australia. Jodie Minus, The Australian

Julia Lawrinson is one of our most honest and confronting writers. She is not afraid to show us the dark side of life, the dangers that bad decisions can lead to, the cruelty of people who abuse their power. If you have read and liked Robert Drewe’s The Shark Net, that eerie portrait of 1960s Perth, then Bye, Beautiful is a must. And if you haven’t read The Shark Net, it’s still a must. It’s that good. – Mike Shuttleworth, the Centre for Youth Literature

Bye, Beautiful is a must for upper secondary readers. Sally Harding, Magpies

Bye, Beautiful is a tragic and powerful interrogation of the pain, loss and guilt caused by prejudice, racism and hypocrisy, set in a small WA town in the 1960s. The denouement hits the reader with the force of a physical blow; this novel is an impressive analysis of family and community relations which is tempered by an authorial restraint which makes it all the more powerful. Queensland Premier’s Literary Award judging panel