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by Megan Rogers

THE HEART IS A STAR by Megan Rogers

This brilliant debut about the trials of middle age and second chances, was won by Harper Collins Australia in a heated 5-way auction. They will publish in May 2023 as a Mother’s Day lead title.

The editor is star Australian publisher Catherine Milne (Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton etc).

Milne said on acquisition, ‘Megan Rogers is a born storyteller, and her debut novel is a beautiful, lush, truthful, and compelling. It centres around the predicament of so many women in midlife — torn between competing demands of work, families, and marriage, and trying to understand what their heart is telling them — I think readers are going to love this book’.


A novel about middle age in all its exquisite messiness.

Layla Byrnes is exhausted. She’s juggling a demanding job as an anaesthetist, a disintegrating marriage, young kids, and a needy lover. And most particularly she’s managing her histrionically unstable mother.

When her mother rings just before Christmas, she doesn’t follow the usual script. Instead, she tells Layla that there’s something important she needs to tell her about her much-loved father.

In response, Layla drops everything to rush to her childhood home in Tasmania. She’s determined to finally confront her mother – and find out what really happened to her father – and lay some demons to rest. When she finally gets there, history is uncovered, and a menacing darkness falls around her esteemed father.

Set between suburban Australia and the rugged coastline of the wild west coast of Tasmania, THE HEART IS A STAR is an engrossing, lyrical and powerfully absorbing novel about the complicated and beautiful messiness of mid-life. It explores the ways in which we navigate an intricate, complicated world and how we can uncover our true selves when we are forced to face the myths that make us.

About the author

Megan Rogers worked in editorial at Allen & Unwin Australia, before moving to the marketing department at the State Library of Victoria. In 2014 she completed a PhD in Creative Writing about the madwoman-in-the-attic trope in feminist literature, which resulted in the book Finding the Plot, A Maternal Approach to Madness in Literature (Demeter Press, 2017). She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science, a Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication and a Masters of Marketing. Megan lives in the Mornington Peninsula, Australia.



Megan says: ‘In THE HEART IS A STAR I explore middle age; a time when many adults experience the death of one version of themselves and the uncertain birth of another. This book was inspired by the women around me, women who are grappling with outdated notions of female identity and are trying to find a way to embrace their complex, strong and sensual selves.’

Rights available

Harper Collins Australia/NZ, publishing in May 2023

All other rights including film/TV are available.