All Four Quarters of the Moon

Shirley Marr

All Four Quarters of the Moon
Penguin Books Australia
5 July 2022

All Four Quarters of the Moon

Shirley Marr

A big-hearted story of love and resilience, starring sisters and storytellers Peijing and Biju, a lost family finding their way, a Little World made of paper, a Jade Rabbit, and the ever-changing but constant moon.      

Making mooncakes with Ah Ma for the Mid-Autumn Festival was the last day of Peijing’s old life. Now, adapting to their new life in Australia, Peijing thinks everything will turn out okay for her family as long as they have each other - but cracks are starting to appear.    


Her little sister, Biju, needs Peijing to be the dependable big sister. Ma Ma is no longer herself; Ah Ma keeps forgetting who she is; and Ba Ba, who used to work seven days a week, is adjusting to being a hands-on dad.    


How will Peijing cope with the uncertainties of her own little world while shouldering the burden of everyone else? And if Peijing’s family are the four quarters of the mooncake, where does she fit in?   


‘An enchanting, touching, perfectly crafted story that will live in my heart for a very long time. A novel of family, friendship, culture, honour and identity that is both timely and timeless. I laughed and cried so many times, and felt as if my soul and my worldview were both expanding. An instant classic.’

KATE GORDON, author of CBCA award-winning Aster’s Good, Right Things


The last time the world made sense to Peijing was the last night she and her family were in Singapore. It was the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, and she was making mooncakes with her grandmother (Ah Ma). The following day, however, Peijing and her five-year-old sister, Biju, along with their mother, father and grandmother, all must leave the only place they’ve ever known for the hot, foreign land of Australia.

Once in Australia, everyone struggles: Ah Ma doesn’t always know where she is or who the people around her are, Ma Ma is sad and withdrawn, Ba Ba is still working all the time, and Biju struggles to find herself. Peijing feels honour-bound to keep the family together and happy, but what does happy look like in this foreign land?

All Four Quarters of the Moon is an ode to sisterhood, storytelling and the small moments of magic that happen every day. Peijing feels so much pressure to do everything just right, but in the end, her acts of rebellion are what bring the most joy and love to her family. Narrated by Biju, the fables that begin each chapter give the book a feeling of timelessness and wonder, and I loved the empathy and love of Peijing and Biju’s relationship; the connection they share and their familial ties to storytelling make up the true magic in this novel. For ages 9+.

Jennifer Fraioli is a bookseller at Readings Emporium.

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