This was life: no sooner had you built yourself your little raft and felt secure than it came to pieces under you and you were swimming again. Born into a world without welcome, Isobel observes it as warily as an alien trying to pass for a native. Her collection of imaginary friends includes the Virgin Mary and Sherlock Holmes. Later she meets Byron, W.H. Auden and T.S. Eliot. Isobel is not so much at ease with the flesh-and-blood people she meets, and least of all with herself, until a lucky encounter and a little detective work reveal her identity and her true situation in life. I for Isobel, a modern-day Australian classic, was followed by Isobel on the Way to the Corner Shop, winner of the Age Book of the Year Award.