​Author Laine Cunningham

​​​​THE FAMILY MADE OF DUST The first of Laine's award-winning novels

"One of the best novels in ten years." Hackney Literary Awards Committee
Destined to become the next The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
For fans of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Atonement by Ian McEwan, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

In this thrilling debut novel ranked alongside Pulitzer Prize winners William Styron and Horton Foote, a gripping search for a missing friend unearths the price one boy paid for brutal adoption policies.

Gabriel Branch is a man displaced. Having lost his boyhood family to a government’s attempt at genocide, his emotions balance on a razor's edge. Then his best friend disappears in the vast Australian desert. The only clue is an Aboriginal artifact that leads Gabe back to the land of his birth.
As he searches for his friend, long-suppressed memories resurface. Memories of the uncle who swung him up into a tree and called him Little Breeze. Memories of the mother he lost. Memories of the candy the social workers used to lure him away from his Outback home.

Vast, dangerous and beautiful, The Family Made of Dust is a remarkable story about the special relationships families can treasure even when they have been broken apart...and how a spare and beautiful landscape can resurrect that which we hold so dear.
Comparable titles: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
Laine Cunningham’s books are included in the fantastic fiction found on “books to read” and “good books to read” lists curated on online book review sites. Bookworms have compared her stories to bestselling books that garner recommended reading notes by bookstore employees. Browse the full selection of her fiction and nonfiction titles at Amazon books, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and your local independent bookstore.


Supported by Cornucopia Arts Center Residency
New York Mills Regional Cultural Center
Jerome Foundation Fellowships

"Ms. Cunningham shows an Australia beautiful and brutal. You know it isn't going to be a gentle ride but you're still not expecting to be kicked out of your seat onto the desert floor, rolling to a stop in the sharp-as-glass spinifex. Don't be surprised when you want to put it down but can't." - Garrison Somers, Editor-in-Chief, The Blotter literary magazine

"From the very beginning, we are in the hands of an exceptional writer as well as a master storyteller…and it is a rare treat to find both of those things in one place. A seamless package that explores not just the soul of her main character but the soul of a nation and its people. A truly special book." Edmund R. Schubert, award-winning author of Dreaming Creek and Editor of Tor anthologies

"Written by a master storyteller, this fast-paced novel initiates Cunningham into the ranks of respected authors such as Michael Ondaatje and Sarah Gruen. A deeply felt work sure to please." Dena Harris, award-winning author

"This is not an uptown homicide but one inked with shamanic intrigue and a spiritual battle of the souls." Dale Stacy, author, Diamond in the Rough

"Characters so real and memorable you won’t put this book down. This book will leave its mark as one of the best stories ever to lie in our laps." Pamela King Cable, author, ALA’s 2012 Top Fiction Pick Televenge

Ranking alongside Pulitzer-Prize winning authors
William Styron (Sophie’s Choice)
and Horton Foote (To Kill a Mockingbird)