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REVIEW: The Strays by Emily Bitto

"Are you listening, girls... I want you to understand that art is never wrong or immoral." 

The Strays begins on Lily's first day at a new school where she befriends Eva Trentham, daughter of avant-guarde painter Evan Trentham and his wife Helena. Loosely based on the Heide Circle, a group of artists in 1930s Australia who lived on a old dairy farm, The Strays ventures into a bohemian artist colony through the eyes of Lily. As the only child of a conservative working class family, she longs to immerse herself in the bohemian world of the Trenthams. 

"Trying to describe my friendship with Eva is like showing the slides from a life-changing journey. The images can never break their borders and make their way into the body...they can never convey the feeling of profound change, brought about simply by altering one's place in the world."
Little by little, Lily becomes a fixture in the house and her and Eva become inseparable. Evan and Helena's parenting consis…

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