If You Go

Alice Robinson

If You Go
Affirm Press
25 June 2024

If You Go

Alice Robinson

While stock lasts we have signed copies of If You Go available to buy online and in our shops.

When Esther wakes with a breathing tube down her throat, she has no idea where she is or how she got there. In terrible physical condition, Esther is tended to by Grace, the only other person in the building.

In the half-consciousness of her recovery, Esther is desperate to get back to her young kids and grapples with the events of her life as they come flooding back: a childhood spent between warring parents; the demise of her marriage; the struggles she faced when her children were born.

Suspicious of Grace, Esther takes drastic action to escape. But there are certain facts about the reality of her situation - her place in time, her history and her life - that she will need to uncover first.

If You Go is a moving, captivating and unforgettable novel about hope and grief and family, exploring what we inherit and what we pass down.


If You Go is a powerfully evocative new novel from Alice Robinson, winner of the 2019 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction for her novel The Glad Shout.

Esther awakens to find a breathing tube deep down her throat, in a room she does not recognise, in a building she’s never been in before. The only other person is her caretaker, Grace, whom Esther sees as her captor as she learns that she has been kept in cryogenic sleep for a hundred years in an experiment to prolong human life. Upon hearing this news, Esther is left with nothing but memories of her past life: her struggling relationship with her mother, who cared more for academic research than for raising her daughter; the breakdown of Esther’s own marriage and the things she wished she could take back; and her children, with the joys and pitfalls and the most mundane memories taken for granted. As Esther and Grace grow closer and begin to trust one another, they uncover the secrets they each hold and work towards building a new future together.

Esther’s story is heartbreaking, solemn, and yet ultimately uplifting, as she quietly endures and strengthens in her journey of finding out who she is in this new life without her old sense of place in the world. Earth is much changed in Robinson’s future, and yet it possesses many of the same, constant things that humanity has always had – disease, war, death, but love, family, and companionship, too. Esther’s life is deemed a dystopia at the beginning of If You Go, but towards the end there always lingers the intrinsically human feeling of hope and endurance. Robinson is a strong and gentle voice for Australian literature, showing that in destruction there is still life, and that in hatred there is still love.

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