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The Everlasting Sunday

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  67 reviews
England, 1962. Seventeen-year-old Radford arrives at Goodwin Manor, a home for boys who have ‘been found by trouble'. Watched over by the enigmatic Teddy, life at the Manor offers a fragile peace at best, as the coldest winter in three centuries sets in. Radford learns that the boys are to care for each other, since their families and the law have been unable to do so. But
Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Published February 21st 2018 by University of Queensland Press (first published February 2018)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  266 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Veronica ⭐️
4.5 Stars

Goodwin Manor is a place of last resorts, a place for the outcasts of society, young males that have erred that once too many. Situated far from anything, the boys are mostly left to their own devices. Tutors come and go. Edward Wilson (Teddy to the boys) is the overseer; he is tired and withdrawn most of the time only intervening when the situation gets out of hand. Teddy has underlying problems of his own. Lilly, the cook, is a motherly figure demanding respect but also full of kindn
John Purcell
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought Robert Lukins’ The Everlasting Sunday was going to be a homage to Golding’s Lord of the Flies – a home for delinquent boys cut off from the world by the worst snowstorm on record. Cue all hell breaking loose. But instead I found myself reading a book more akin to Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.

The Manor is a home for boys ‘found by trouble’. We enter with seventeen year old Radford who has been unceremoniously dropped off by his uncle as the snowstorm worsens. We don’t know
Cass Moriarty
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Lukins’ debut novel The Everlasting Sunday (UQP 2018) is a literary delight, a story comprised of poetry, a celebration of the rhythm of language. Set in the coldest winter on record in England in 1962, the novel takes place in Goodwin Manor, a home for boys who have been ‘found by trouble’. In the opening pages, 17-year-old Radford finds himself negotiating the intricacies of the home – the hardened loyalties, the twisted friendships, the turmoil of adolescent hormones, the secrets kept ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deceptively quiet, brooding meditation on fledgling masculinity, The Everlasting Sunday simmers with menace and tension, making the occasional explosions all the more cataclysmic. And what a pleasure to read such beautiful - I'll even go so far as to say "classical" - prose. How the hell is this a debut? ...more
Lucy Treloar
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heart-stopping and atmospheric read. Highly recommended.
Theresa Smith
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly atmospheric, yet deeply unsettling, The Everlasting Sunday is a meticulous account of toxic masculinity within a setting of inverted institutionalisation. During a winter freeze, a teenager arrives at a reform home for boys located deep in the English countryside. We don’t know what he’s done to arrive at this fate, and indeed, as we quickly learn, it is the policy of this home that the boys do not have to disclose their reasons for being there unless they personally choose to. There are ...more
Michael Livingston
Incredibly moody book, that plonks you in a home for troubled boys in the middle of a cold spell in 1962 England. Lukins creates a fully realised world inside the house, with rich and uneasy relationships unfolding as the ice and snow set in. Things build towards a conclusion with almost unbearable tension. This is a wonderful debut.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My rating is so different from that of the average Goodreads rating that I guess I missed something. The story had such potential, but left so much on the fringe that often I had to remind myself that something (what?) was happening. The characters were left unexplored, sketches rather than well-drawn portraits of troubled boys. But, then again, what troubles had gotten them sent to the Manor? And, what was the Manor meant to do with them, prepare them for, help them with? it was frustrating to ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a debut! It’s all mood and atmosphere and I loved it.
Jessica Reads & Rambles
‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ meets Linda Grant’s ‘The Dark Circle’ in this quietly violent tale.

A simmering tension throughout and a certain melodrama reminded me of the reading experience of ‘Elmet’.

An atmospheric Bildungsroman observing the fragility of masculinity, the obligations of friendship, and the question of salvation.

Thanks so much for sending me a copy, Robert! A wonderful debut.
Debbie Robson
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the first things that struck me about Robert Lukins's novel The Everlasting Sunday was the wonderful prose. Dazzling and lyrical prose is very much fussed over these days but one of my pet hates is seeing that sort of prose with characters who are neither lyrical nor dazzling in their character or thinking and is misplaced. Not so with The Everlasting Sunday.
In The Everlasting Sunday the prose is poetic in the interesting juxtaposition of words, ie “The uncle began to whistle a tune that
Louise Warwick
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writing, subtle, and a powerful atmosphere.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auslit
“As far as I can tell it takes two things to end up at the Manor: a reason and a final straw.”

This was a story immersed in atmosphere and built around some truly stunning sentences, what I felt held me back is that they largely constructed the physical environment but failed to connect me to the characters. There was a broody and icy vibe to the narrative, mirrored in the deep-chill weather and vivid descriptions of place. Radford, as the central character, had an arc of some really memorable an
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impossible to sum up in a few lines, but this is a powerful coming-of-age novel depicting daily life in a home for boys 'found by trouble' in the early 1960s. The carers are empathetic, and their kindness and warmth contrast with the harsh weather and landscape. I particularly liked that winter had a voice. ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So will written. Really captures the isolation and the longing the boys have. My only criticism is that not a lot happens. Beautiful descriptions and portraits of the characters, but they don't do whole lot. ...more
Kirsty Dummin
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly gripping debut novel. I loved that for most of the book I had no idea where it was going. The characters drew me in, and by the end I wished I could hug each and every one of them. They felt so real, so broken.
Craig Hildebrand-Burke
What is it, to be a boy?

An even greater challenge: what is it to be a boy who is troubled?

That can mean so much. One can be troubled within, or troubled without. In Robert Lukins’ novel The Everlasting Sunday, all the boys who are sequestered at the Manor are troubled. And yet through both the machinations of the plot – their de facto carer never reads the files on each boy sent to the Manor – and Lukins’ writing, each boy is able to be shorn of his trouble until all that remains is the boy. For
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Finished: 17.04.2019
Genre: novel
Rating: A
#NSW Premier's Awards 2019
This book surprised me as a debut novel.
That is why I gave it a 5 score instead of a solid 3.
Here is why...

My Thoughts

Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, brutal story.
"The air, beyond chill, made short work of cutting through Radford’s trousers and long johns. His socks became wet and winter made house in his bones."
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
We join Radford in England in 1962 when he is sent to Goodwin Manor, a home for troubled boys. The boys aren't required to disclose the events leading up to their arrival at Goodwin Manor, but I hoped their backstories would be slowly revealed throughout the novel. Alas, this isn't the case. In fact, we don't even get the backstory of the main character, Radford.

I was ready for a bootcamp style campus novel for delinquents and troublemakers, but Goodwin Manor is not a structured boarding school
Jessica Currie
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The assuredness of this debut suggests there are half a dozen manuscripts sitting in Robert Lukins’ desk drawer waiting for the readers they deserve. He has crafted a tense survival story in The Everlasting Sunday; here we have a manor filled with troubled boys thrown together by circumstance with minimal supervision or structure. But what results is not a Lord of the Flies experience. We are not surprised by the savagery of the boys, but by unexpected kindnesses, vulnerability and the fragility ...more
I think I've missed something in this story - every other review gives 4 or 5 stars and comments like breathtaking, and beautiful. It didn't draw me in at all and I wasn't invested in any of the characters. Maybe it's just not my thing ...more
Robert Lukins
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-one-i-wrote
This thing is so much better in Italian, I imagine.
Cassandra Austin
Stunning. Read it in one sitting. Beautifully written and so bittersweet. Shades of Eveyln Waugh with something all Lukins' own. Read it. ...more
Rick Morton
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The language in this book is sublime. Robert has such an inventive and beautiful way of showing us the most simple things, things we take for granted, things we didn’t know had a better explanation. I was profoundly moved by this novel, and it will sit with me for some time.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a little off the beaten track compared to the paths I usually tread for my reading pleasure but it's a diversion that I am glad that I took. Goodwin Manor is a last refuge for boys who are found by trouble as the author puts it and The Everlasting Sunday follows Radford, one such unfortunate who spends the great winter of 1962 there. It's a tale of no little warmth, considerable cold and harsh cruelty which put me in mind of a dysfunctional Dead Poet's Society.

The friendships and enmitie
Robin Riedstra
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Everlasting Sunday is set in a boys home in England in 1962. The cold of the setting mimicks the isolation of the boys situation and their own minds. It is not always a comfortable read as there is tension and trauma but there is also joy and tenderness.

If you like a strong authorial voice then you will thoroughly enjoy Robert Lukins' work, if you are after something more generic then this book may not appeal to you as much. His opening sentence is simple enough - There are things more mira
Bit hard to rate this story set in Britain during the freezing winter of 1962. The coldest winter in 300 years was brutal but paled in comparison to the story that these characters find themselves in. Beautiful writing delivered with a sort of British stiff upper lip.
The writing is so good, I'd like to rate it higher than a 3 but it didn't wow me more like a 4 star read would.
It's been part of a huge number of prize lists. I think I had heard it recommended on booktube but I was inspired to r
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haunting story of a youth put into a strange care institution for reasons that are not disclosed until the end of the book. I loved the language and the pace of the story. The combination of the volatile nature of the boys with too much time on their hands and the caring but laid back principal led to an inevitable climax.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much left unsaid.

So much beauty.

Two things: one, it is a compliment to the writer that I had not considered I would ever read a book like this written by a young person; and two, when the words are so exquisite it is hard to write a review that amply shines light on that beauty. Hats off to those reviewers who have done so.

"Brass sucked two fingers, and whistled."
"'Brilliant,' Rich said."

The cover - I always talk covers - is stunning. Giving nothing away.
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Robert Lukins lives in Melbourne and has worked as an art researcher and journalist.

His writing has been published widely, including in The Big Issue, Rolling Stone, Crikey, Broadsheet and Overland.

The Everlasting Sunday is his first novel.

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