Head of the River

Long and shortlisted: State Library of Victoria’s Gold Inky award; Adelaide Festival Literary awards

It’s the most elite school sporting event in the country. Nine rowers, 2000 gruelling metres and one chance for glory in the ultimate team sport. Sit forward … ROW.

Tall, gifted and the offspring of Olympians, superstar siblings Leni and Cristian Popescu are set to row Harley Grammar to victory in the Head of the River.
With six months until the big race, the twins can’t lose. Or can they?

When Cristian is seduced by the easy route of performance-enhancing drugs, and Leni is suffocated with self-doubt, their bright futures start to fade. Juggling family, high expectations, study, break-ups, new relationships and wild parties, the pressure builds.

As the final moments tick down to the big race, who will make it to the start line? And who will plummet from grace?

An engaging contemporary YA set in the world of competitive school rowing.

  • The tension, tragedy, technical background and team dynamics are all exemplary and the characters rise real from the page.
    — Adelaide Advertiser
  • Flows fast and deep and occasionally treacherous. I loved it.
    — Simmone Howell
  • If you have a hankering for great new takes on contemporary Australia and strong characterisations, this book is definitely for you!
    — Inside a Dog
  • The struggles these two teenagers face will speak volumes to readers.
    — Books + Publishing