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praise for a Million Things


An original and impressively assured debut. A gem of a novel.

–Graeme Simsion,

bestselling author of the Rosie trilogy


​‘Poignant, uplifting and beautifully written.

–Catherine Jinks

A Million Things swept me into its thrall so immediately that I didn’t realise I’d been holding my breath until I reached the end. With tender ferocity, Emily Spurr unravels the fragile knot between a bold ten-year-old girl, her absent mother, and a neighbourhood recluse on the brink of ruin or redemption. Fresh and slim, this novel pierces like a bullet and soothes like a psalm.

–Amy Jo Burns


Direct, assured writing, hard-hitting emotion and a wonderful sense of optimism. A Million Things is a debut to treasure, with characters whose dignity shines through their struggles.

–Jock Serong

Beautifully written, equally heart-warming and heart-wrenching novel about family, friendship, love and resilience…An absorbing, wonderful read that showcases the importance of having even one special person to turn to and unconditional love. Keep the tissues close by.’

–Herald Sun

An enthralling, devastating debut… A Million Things is a shattering novel that perfectly captures the fractured moments between loss and letting go; between childhood and growing up, in which anything could change once the pieces fall.


Really good. There are moments in the book where your heart stops.

–Newstalk ZB

It is not hard to see why A Million Things was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Unpublished Manuscript Prize last year. Spurr is a subtle writer, and though she writes genuinely dramatic incidents, the story is not overblown, and actions and reactions are written with a light touch…Spurr does a deft job of showing that people can surprise in good ways as well as bad.’

–The Weekend Australian

For book clubs who know honest friendship is the light in darkness.


A powerful and challenging read from a new writer to watch.

–The Big Issue

A remarkable book: beautifully written, tender, loving, humorous, heart-breaking, but all those other things as well, which is what we all love to read in the best of fiction.

–The Book Show, ABC Radio National

Spurr expertly transforms an unlikely cast of loners into a set of profoundly connected individuals...there are moments in which the reader will laugh out loud. However, anyone who has experienced grief is likely to cry at least once before the covers close on this story.



Author Emily Spurr tells a tale of grief and resilience with refreshing simplicity.

–The Age/SMH


An absolutely fantastic novel.

–2SER: Final Draft

‘My Tissues came out very readily! ' 

–Jan Goldsmith, Published...or Not. 

"Emily Spurr’s first novel is written with depth and heart and a plangent simplicity; her characters have a warmth and feisty resilience that she makes utterly believable, and the inevitable tricky ending is handled with confidence and flair."

–The Advertiser, Adelaide.

Amazing debut.

–The Australian Women's Weekly.

"Spurr deftly slides into Rae’s 10-year-old consciousness, expertly balancing the innocence and maturity of a child grown up too soon."


"Spurr delivers a haunting account of a young girl grappling with abandonment in this excellent debut...Through Rae’s devastating yet hopeful interior dialogue, Spurr delicately illustrates the complexity of loss and isolation."

–Publishers Weekly.

"In this excellent debut…Spurr delicately illustrates the complexity of loss and isolation. Fans of Liane Moriarty should take a look.’."

–Publishers Weekly.

"Spurr's gut-punch of a debut details 55 days in the life of 10-year-old Rae, who must look after herself and her beloved dog after her mother disappears. Warning: Stock up on Kleenex and prepare to feel all the feelings in this heartfelt story of resilience."

–E! Online

"An intense, atmospheric work of fiction about love, grief and resilience."


"A Million Things draws the reader into an intimate world of unforgettable characters and heartfelt expressions of love and grief. This is a great selection for book clubs who are looking for a... genuinely touching read."


BookBrowse Best Debut Winner 2021

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